REVIEW: ARMS & HEARTS – WIRES CROSSED
Growing up is something we all have to do at some point or other, whether we actually want too or not. I’ve still to set a date for when I make the transition to fully fledged grown up, I keep putting it off so I can have more time staying awake all night eating Jaffa Cakes and watching YouTube videos of kittens guilt free. But for musicians growing up under the watchful eye of the consumer, and their fanbase, it is a process that may come with some risks. One minute you’re the hottest pop-punk band in Weston-Super-Mare, the next, after weeks of nothing but growing up, you’re the towns hottest Nu-Jazz combo. It’s not gonna work. Move on.
Luckily for Steve Millar aka Arms & Hearts this period of growing up has seen his lonely troubadour persona mould and develop into a more rounded and sincere entity as Wires Crossed is Arms & Hearts first release as a full band, and it suits them, like a well fitted flat cap. Along with the fuller sound comes a lyrical maturity that can only come from life constantly touring and playing the dive bars and pizza shops of the UK and Europe. The addition of a rhythm section seem to give the lyrical themes room to breathe, allow a change of pace and help solidify a sound that, whilst heavily influenced by Americana, is pure North-West England in its heart and soul.
This is the music you want on a road trip to the coast, preferably whilst it’s raining and a blowing a gale, its music to keep you company as you walk to Tesco to buy more wine and Percy Pigs. Its reflective and sincere and shows that Arms & Hearts are deserving in the support slots they get, gives credence to the hours and miles they put in and more importantly shows that sometimes when musicians grow up they really start to shine. The UK isn’t really known for its blue-collar, Springsteenesqe punk rock, but that may change with this record. Wires Crossed is out on May 18th through Real Ghost Record and you’d be a fool if you didn’t get involved. Me? I’ve got more Jaffa Cakes to get through.