Tidal Arms – The Sun Exploding
Release Date: February 15, 2011
Record Label: unsigned
When most of you heard about TIdal Arms last year, your first impression was, "The drummer from From Autumn To Ashes has another band?!" That was certainly mine anyway. While I was never a big FATA band, but enjoyed pieces of his next few projects, Tidal Arms' DOGMA video and advance of their debut 7" made their prescene quite intriguing. Along with bassist Patrick Southern, Francis Mark's other equally talented rhythmic half, there's guitarist and vocalist Tom Tierney.
Name doesn't sound familiar, who? Well, Tierney has a background of composing, producing and making some solo stuff in his spare time, and it certainly sets the background for much of The Sun Exploding. Be aware, this record lacks any sort of crabcore, "Oh my gawd!" breakdowns or typical hardcore fashion you're used to. Stoner rock heads and time signature freaks will latch on like crazy. But it's the ones with a bit of musical background and salivating instrumental tastes that will savor this one the most.
Tidal Arms does a wonderful job of making the album continually flow and progress in a steady manner, yet never ends up repeating a dull moment. The album seems to cut itself into three acts. The opening one does a wonderful job, gradually mixing a bowl of harmony and heavily broad riffs and key changes. Beauty climbs its way in with "The Dust Collecting" and unleashes itself with the title track, only to come hurling down with "Past Prosperity" and into the next act. The drugged flow into the ending blow of self-awareness ("Heavy Brainfall") are followed by two nasty and gritty sounding up-and-down scenes with "Driftwood" and "Hair and Teeth." Though the rest of the second act runs a bit together, "Swarm in Five" and "Social Landlord" expositions the album wonderfully. This is the last act, with well paced, but never fleeting, action until the bitter end.
The Sun Exploding is very much scattered musically, but in a well constructed and well executed way. When the band released their first few songs, it seemed like just a grueling display of nostalgic bong hits in the metal scene. Tidal Arms' debut proved themselves more than that. The members proved they could channel their past influences and projects and give it a contemporary feel and flow.
Been loving these guys since I heard them, I too wish Fran did some vocals though. His voice would be so complimenting to Tom's given the right times and styles. Either way I'm stoked for this band even though I do miss FATA and Warship.
Tom is a close buddy of mine and I have been listening to this album non-stop since its release. I understand that fans of Fran's past bands may be disappointed that he isn't singing, but this is without a doubt some of his best work as a drummer. From a musical standpoint, these are some of the most melodically and rhythmically interesting songs I have ever heard, and ones that are tasteful and dynamic. The guys are certainly striking a balance between "heavy" and "dreamy" (as they say on their Twitter) and in some songs this balance is more even than in others. I think the thing to take away from this album is that these guys are making some truly original music and in no way (as Adam points out in the review) are trying to fit a certain sound, style, scene, or aesthetic. Genuine music from genuine dudes that rocks.