17 December 2008

Arma | Clara Valley

Clara Valley

You aren’t paying attention. I know this because Arma knows this. Arma is the only band I know that wants to rock you so hard, you bruise your soul. At the same time, Arma wants you to listen to the lyrics and realize, these guys aren’t depressed, sad, or complaining. They’re quite happy, and Clara Valley (named for the region they grew up near in Johnstontown) proves it, song after song. Harsh vocals, aggressive guitar work, dominant drums, and a bass guitar that evokes brimstone seem to contradict the optimism the songs actual convey lyrically. It sounds like death, but it feels pretty good when you pay attention.

See also: Arma, Cold Dose (2006) and Rumor Department (2004); Family Butcher, Hang Away (2008).

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