The Armed Forces

Modern Gospel For Modern Men & Women

Written by: PP on 26/02/2008 02:40:50

I love reviewing stuff that's got a positive vibe to it. That way reviewing a record doesn't become just another errand, but something you look forward to, as with The Armed Forces' debut EP "Modern Gospel For Modern Men & Women". The self-proclaimed "most dangerous pop band in the world" oozes that kind of positive energy, where the band doesn't take themselves too seriously, resulting in a sound which is both fun and extremely enjoyable for the listener.

In the five songs that the band presents on the EP, the listener is taken through an extensive genre mash-up journey. Everything from the softer genres is well represented, ranging from pop punk to indie rock to power pop, effectively resulting in a sound not too far off from a band like A Kid Hereafter. "Everything You Know Is Wrong" has some nice pop synths and a slightly muddy production to give frontman Brandon Jazz's voice that extra bit of attitude needed to make it sound interesting. In my eyes, in this song alone, Jazz draws parallels to the famed Say Anything frontman Max Bemis in terms of attitude-filled passionate delivery. His voice has the sound of a man who knows exactly what he wants creatively and is able to execute it perfectly.

"The Runaways" is a slightly more traditionally written track (is it the single?), borrowing from The Hives, The Strokes and those kind of indie rock bands without sounding too much alike them. The little vocal breaks in the chorus add much character to the song and make it one of my favorites on the EP. "Rock N' Roll Nigger (Part Two)", on the other hand, takes a short 47 second stab at a more hardcore influenced sound, but it absolutely doesn't work as well as the rest of the EP and isn't a direction the band should pursue in the future.

See, what makes The Armed Forces good is their ability to write intriguing indie-rock/garage rock flavored pop punk arrangements, not their ability to shove the music down your throat at breakneck speeds. The final song "In The Free World" is a perfect example of this. It's got some Foxy Shazam-esque frenzied piano on the background and a singalongable chorus to kill for. It's just raw enough to appeal for the scenesters but soft enough to have mainstream appeal, while being miles better than the majority of what's in the charts these days, which sums up the EP just nicely, and is enough to get me intrigued about what this band might have to offer on their eventual debut album.


Download: In The Free World
For the fans of: The Strokes, A Kid Hereafter, The Hives
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 01.09.2007
Self Released

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