Review of Turn And Face Me Album by Blood Arm

The last time we came across LA four piece The Blood Arm was on 2007's Suspicious Charachter, a song whose opening line was "I like all the girls, and all the girls like me" - you shudder to think of the Facebook issues. It wasn't half bad either, bothering the lower reaches of the charts and leaving the impression that the outfit were about to make us add them to the contenders roster for our new favourite band. Then, like other candidates on that list such as Head Automatica and Ghosts, it appeared that they did a runner.

Blood Arm Turn And Face Me Album

The reasons behind why it's taken four years to follow up are murky enough to not be explained in the press release that accompanies Turn And Face Me, but we're pleased to say that on the surface anyway, little in singer Nathaniel Fregoso's world has changed. Opener She's A Guillotine makes the "We're back, baby" point in fine style, thumping along with the sort of maverick rock and roll attitude that made the early New York Dolls outings a benchmark for sequined debauchery.

Claiming to be influenced by the likes of The Doors, James Brown and even our own loveable rain-soaked curmudgeons The Fall, Fregoso and his cohorts instead are going full steam ahead for less darker territory, as the crystalline floppy-fringed pop of Relentless Love proves. If that's an attempt to revive the spirit of the Killers circa Hot Fuss, the rest of Turn And Face Me concentrates on being a straight up party in a bag. "Over The Top" is another band's problem; Temporary Woman, Friends For Now and D-D-D-D-D-Dementia rattle along with whisky and piano as their main ingredients, collective tongues embedded so far in cheek that they'll probably need to removed by surgery later.

So far, so Keane with a sense of humour then, but there is the occasional bum note however, with The Creditors losing its way around some crackpot lyrical theme related to the global economy, whilst the sentiment that fuels Don't Let Him Break Your Heart works fine on Broadway, but not here. It's left to the slightly more demure closer Forever Is Strange to reconnect matters to our affection, which it does by stripping back the layers of glitter to just a guitar and a bar stool. Kryten once described the word fun as "The employment of time in a profitless and non-practical way". He could've just said "The Blood Arm" instead.

Andy Peterson

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