Album Name: Only Love
Band: The Armed
Release Date: April 27, 2018
Genre: Post / Hardcore / Indie
Before you get to reading, why not click on one of these links and start listening? We recommend it. Reading along while the music plays offers a much more immersive experience.
Heavy music like metal or hardcore is insanely therapeutic. It distills the energy that can swell within you when things feel out of control. When decisions are being made for you by people who are above you. It feels rebellious, but it’s not about what others think. It’s about the catharsis you achieve when you listen to it.
So instead of screaming into a pillow, why not try “Only Love” by The Armed?
Firstly, you’re definitely going to want to listen to this one with headphones. At first, it might just straight-up sound like white noise – But this white noise was expertly concocted by mad scientists.
The Armed is like the Broken Social Scene of hardcore, in that they’re a collective and you never know who the hell is or isn’t in the band at any given time. We do know they are produced by Kurt Ballou. He’s known as the guitarist of the legendary hardcore band Converge (Recommendception: check out their 2001 album Jane Doe.) The Armed also swaps out guest drummers for each of their three albums. On “Only Love,” we get Ben Koller, also from Converge. His drumming alone makes it worth blowing out your speakers.
“Only Love” is in a realm of its own, and the track “Luxury Themes” is probably the climax of the album. It has an unrelenting instrumental section that you will never forget. It plummets you through space in an orchestra of icy synthesizers, vicious guitar and absolutely savage drums until you completely lose yourself. I’ve never heard anything like it and neither will you.
“Heavily Lined” has a similar insanity to it with an amazing video where you watch a nerdy guy build something quietly in his basement for a full five minutes until the song starts and he can finally let loose and test out his creation.
Now, I know our city is angry because we are watching our systems being pushed past the brink. And “Only Love” is not thematically angry, but I do know it feels really good to listen to it when you are.