Sidearm are an ambitious and adventurous bunch. This idea-rammed CD of three songs shouts out "gi's a gig!" in a loud and convincing voice.
There are things I'm personally doubtful about, whoever does them. Screamed or shouted vocals don't carry the strength or venom that half well-done singing can. But once that's accepted, there's a lot else to listen to.
Genre avoidance is a good thing, and Sidearm oblige with explorations into a wide range of the sounds that you can concoct with everyday musical instruments and implements. Guitars and drums and samplers and keyboards and piano and so on.
"Peach Garden" is rocky stuff with stabs away from the emo sounds of deconstructed nu metal. "Jeremy's Parking Only" is more architectural in its approach - a sampled newsreader in a sunspot storm kind of voice laid across light south westerlies, backing to squalling guitar storms. Dogger, Fisher, German Bight. It has emotional chord building and power chord driving with busy percussion. And no shouty vocals. So it sounds powerful and I like it. Very Promising.
"Victim Junkie" is a six minute epic. It comes in with guitar fed through a drainpipe and a great out-of-tune studio piano. The sound of Eastern European pogroms, leading to the darkest of axe-mad guitar bands on the rampage stuff. Jagged phrases are swapped like blows from one stereo channel to the other. And a vocal track uses two voices that stop short of shouting. There are some squealing electro noises and it all works terrifically well. The overall sound is scary, inventive and exciting.
Sidearm are off on a creative journey and have come a long way since I saw them as slightly timid novices at the Royal Park Cellars. Neil Allen, Electricity Mitchell and Craig J. Hayward are names to watch out for.