The Blood Arm – Relentless Love/Introducing Randy Newman
aaamusic | On 04, Jul 2011
A couple of releases here from LA sunshine outfit The Blood Arm: first is a free MP3 called ‘Introducing Randy Newman’, and second is a song/video deal, entitled ‘Relentless Love’.
‘IntroducingRandy Newman’ is by far and away my favourite of the two: an upbeat, smart little slice of cheerfully eccentric pop rock, which does indeed whisper from some points the sonic link to Elvis Costello that the press release offers, albeit minus the bitterness that marks out some of his work. Mellow acoustic guitar and piano quickly make way for an energetic, dance-inducing pop track fuelled by manic synth cascades, clear cymbals and group vocals that make the whole affair feel like the theme tune to a kids’ cartoon in the vein of Cow And Chicken thrown in with the Tweenies, but played out through giddy indie into a dapper track that’ll be appearing on the summer playlists of many a hip kid.
I’ll have to say though, ‘Relentless Love’ simply didn’t find its appeal or charm in my books. Whereas ‘Introducing…’ has goofy yet sleek charm by the bowlful, ‘Relentless Love’ feels disappointing. While the guitar and keyboards weave a dreamy pop hook through a gentle haze, and the percussion/bass playfulness adds hopskip energy to an emotive vocal delivery, I just cannot get into it. The whole track feels trite and even a bit lazy – I couldn’t differentiate this from any number of “summer hits”, and the cod-euphoric midsection buildup gives nothing but what could be guessed from a mile off given the optimistically lovesick subject matter, and the whole affair gives off waves of saccharine creepiness.
At the better end, The Blood Arm could be the Boomtown Rats high on modern keyboard effects and the LA sunshine. At the worse, they’re a rather nauseating and unoriginal indie pop outfit. Quirky is as quirky does, and this patchy double-whammy has the capacity to both appeal and repel, depending on your tolerance for sentiment and the trodden pathway.
Author: Katie H-Halinski