Album Review
Crazy Arm - Born to Ruin Album Cover

Crazy Arm - Born to Ruin

Reviewed by
Crazy Arm - Born to Ruin
Record Label: Xtra Mile Records
Release Date: June 8, 2009
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.

Sometimes I buy albums for no real reason. I collect CDs, so just buying an album on impulse isn't the strangest thing for me to do. I'll hear a few 30-second clips on iTunes, or I'll hear a band that I like recommend something, or I'll just hear the name a few times online and eventually just buy their album. Crazy Arm didn't really fit into any of those categories. I received this album only ever having heard two songs, but I thought they had promise. I was happy to find out that with their debut album Born to Ruin, Crazy Arm did not underachieve. With a sound that is unlike any other bands that I listen to, this record stretches all over the place. There are spots with traditional rock riffs ("Asphalt"), relatively poppy numbers ("Still to Keep"), true folk-rock ("Blind Summit" and a few others), and spots that combine all or a few styles. I suppose that mixing up styles is the band's style themselves, arising from two popular punk rock band from Plymouth, No Comply and The Once Over Twice.

Another big part of Crazy Arm's music is the political influence. I'm sure many people will compare their lyrics and grassroots vibe to that of Fugazi, but I personally hear a little more Flogging Molly at times. However, the band's sound isn't really similar to either of those bands. The best way I can describe it is acoustic folk punk, I think. Opener "Asphalt" is one of the better numbers on the record, with a heavy-handed rock riff that complements the introduction into Crazy Arm's style. The next song, "Still to Keep", is my favorite on the record, which I found to be top-heavy. Although the entire album is littered with good songs, I really focus on the first six or seven songs when I listen to it. "Still to Keep" will be an attention getter for listeners of pop punk or rock and roll, with a pop sensibility and a good vocal performance. "Desire Lines" is a political-punk ballad-ish track, which I find to be a good window into what the band sound like. "International Front" and the title track are the other two songs on Born to Ruin that I really enjoy. The former took a few spins for me to take to, but it has a very enjoyable chorus and is carried by a driving guitar and pretty heavy use of symbols. The latter starts as a slow, acoustic-centered track before climaxing into a very rock and roll instrumental bridge.

Overall, Born to Ruin is probably very unlike any album you've ever heard. I can't imagine anyone knocking on Crazy Arm for lack of originality, even if their execution could do with some improvement over time. I think eventually the band will settle into their own very unique sound and cut out some of the superfluous influences that lie around this hodgepodge album, and maybe then they'll be able to wage a considerable affect on the indie punk scene. Until then, this album is worth checking out as Crazy Arms is sure to add some variety to your music library.

Recommended If You Likepunk rock I guess, Floggin Molly I guess, something new, something different

Download These First"Still to Keep", "Desire Lines", "Born to Ruin"

Bare Essentials1. Asphalt
2. Still to Keep
3. Blind Summit
4. Desire Lines
5. Born to Ruin
6. Broken By the Wheel
7. International Front
8. Henry Fabian Flynn
9. Kith and Kingdom
10. Reassure Me
11. Christ in Concrete
Produced By: Peter Miles, Run Time: 49 minutes
Displaying posts 1 - 4 of 4
11:40 PM on 02/11/10
Modern Leper
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Modern Leper's Avatar
This album is amazing. I listened to it way too much though when I got it, so I've had it in retirement for the last few months so next time I listen to it it'll be awesome again.
09:39 AM on 02/12/10
Regular Member
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letitenfoldyou's Avatar
Loggerhead were popular on the Plymouth music scene back along. Surely Tim's first lovechild deserves a mention along with TOOT and NoComply? Otherwise really good review, and whole heartedly agree with you.
10:35 AM on 02/12/10
Thomas Nassiff
retired staff member
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Thomas Nassiff's Avatar
Loggerhead were popular on the Plymouth music scene back along. Surely Tim's first lovechild deserves a mention along with TOOT and NoComply? Otherwise really good review, and whole heartedly agree with you.
never came across them in my research ?

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