Heralded by Mr UK Superstar himself, HRH Frank Turner, Crazy Arm burst onto the Xtra Mile label with a debut that sounds like a barn-storming country hoedown clashing gloriously with mohawks, piercings and everything else punk is remembered for.
Things don’t hang around. ‘Asphalt’ starts simply enough but evolves into a fantastic sing-along anthem before it’s even reached the halfway point, and Darren Johns’ heart-pounding scream leaves hearts fluttering. Throughout the album he’s shows off a cracking pair of lungs, with a vocal range that injects the more cliché moments with a shot of vitality.
On their MySpace, the band describes themselves as “Fugazi with banjos, but without banjos”. Admittedly it’s not too far off the truth, although Crazy Arm seem happier to embrace cheerier sounds alongside some thought-provoking lyrics. ‘Blind Summit’ deals with religion, or lack thereof, whilst sounding like something that belongs in a barn (and by that, I don’t mean Jesus).
Give ‘Born To Ruin’ more than a few spins and it won’t be long before you’re singing along. There’s something about the combination of toe-tapping rhythm and common man vocals that makes every chorus ripe for your own vocal accompaniment. Single ‘Broken By The Wheel’ is an emphatic cheer for sticking to your guns, a subject close to the band’s heart considering their prolonged involvement in the Plymouth music scene.
The boys of Crazy Arm have brought the hoedown to the UK with accomplished and unashamed flair. They successfully mix an appreciation for country vibes with more traditional punk roots, creating a catchy and polished collection of songs. The future of UK music? It’s unlikely, but if The King Blues can get their humdrum piss on the radio, then there’s no reason why Crazy Arm can’t show the nation how a party should really go down.
Originally published on Sonic Dice.