Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Album Review: Life At Thirty by On My Arms

I'll never get tired of listening to Ramonescore pop punk. It takes me to my happy place, perhaps even more so than ska does. Because of this I'm always excited to check out new bands in the scene. Mainland Europe is jam packed with these great bands. A few weeks ago we checked out Austrian band Dorkatron. Today we're giving a listen to Italian four piece On My Arms. On My Arms formed in 2011 in Venice after being influenced by old school bands such as The Ramones and The Queers, as well as modern acts like Teenage Bottlerocket. Back in March they released a brand new album titled Life At Thirty. The ten track album is being released in Europe by Monster Zero, Japan by Waterslide Records and in the USA by Outloud! Records.

The first song on Life At Thirty is titled 15 + 18. Like you would expect from some Ramonescore pop punk, it's a short, sweet and fast song. It's quite a simple song lyrically which you will quickly be able to sing along to. The track is about being in a hurry to grow up when you're a kid. This song really gives you a great feel of what the album and On My Arms are all about. The second song, It's Gonna Be Now, quickly moves the album into traditional pop punk territory - girls. On this song On My Arms show off their more melodic sound and serve up some delicious harmonies. Naturally the catchiness remains and you'll be smiling along gleefully as you sing along with the chorus of "And Is Gonna Be Now." On the third song, For Life, the band find the perfect mix of tempo and melody. They manage to hook me into the song instantly with its energy and it has me listening along to the lyrics so intently. I love how On My Arms have managed to write a really energetic song without playing as fast as they possibly can.

The meaning of the fourth song I Wanna Quit My Job is self explanatory. I'm sure it could quite easily become an anthem for anyone you has a job that they dislike. The song is fast, fun and fantastic. On My Arms really hit the nail on the head with their extremely relatable lyrics. The relentless lines of "Can't make it this morning, Can't make it to wake up, 'cause my job, 'cause my boss sucks." I truly believe lead singer Ganz genuinely hates his job. The fifth song on the album is named I'm Obsessed With Posers. The song is about people in the scene who don't care about it and only see it as a way to try and make money off of other people's hard work. This feels like a more serious side of On My Arms. They show this by playing in a more measured way without many key changes or big building guitar solos.

The album's title track, Life At Thirty, is up next. Starting out with just a guitar and vocals, you immediately want to sing along with the band. As soon as the full band kicks in we are again treated with the more serious On My Arms. As you may have guessed, the song is about reaching the grand old age of thirty and the feelings that come with that milestone, in particular feeling like you can't follow your dreams anymore and you have to settle with what you now have. Up next is song seven, Baby Where Are You? Here the band revert back to the short and sweet pop punk style. The tempo is upped and it feels as if drummer Marco is hitting the tubs with a bit more ferocity. The song is about having a crush on a girl and searching for them on a night out.

Sick Of You sees a much much angrier side of On My Arms. Perhaps this is unsurprising given the song title. On the song Ganz sings at some speed and adds some spite and venom into his vocals as he talks about not wanting to be like somebody he claims to be a selfish, ignorant, sad poser. It really feels like he means every single word. The penultimate track is named I Wanna Win. This song was one of the stand out tracks on my first listen of Life At Thirty. It's an uplifting feel good number about wanting to come out on top of life despite all of the things that happen that make you feel like it is not possible. The song is a thoughtful one, relying much more on melody than tempo to draw in the listener. There is even some added piano at the end of the track that adds another fantastic element to the song's sound. The tenth and final song on the album is the acoustic Everything. What I really enjoyed about this song is, even though it's a soft acoustic song, it's actually full band with the inclusion of drums and what sounds to me like a violin. The drums provide a big back bone to the song and the violin gives a haunting touch and adds so much emotion to the song. Everything is about the breakup of a relationship and dealing with the aftermath. This album finishes on a beautiful but downbeat moment.

Life At Thirty is another superb Ramonescore pop punk album from mainland Europe. The plethora or really great bands out there playing this style is incredible. On My Arms are one of my new favourites.

Stream and download Life At Thirty here: https://onmyarms.bandcamp.com/

Like On My Arms here: https://www.facebook.com/onmyarmspunkrock

This review was written by Colin Clark.

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