The Arms Akimbo

The Arms Akimbo

by Maria Schurr

4 January 2011


The Arms Akimbo

The Arms Akimbo

US: 30 Nov 2010
UK: 30 Nov 2010

If you are anything like me, seeing or hearing the phrase “arms akimbo” leads to Orange Juice’s “Intuition Told Me (Part 2)”—particularly the lyric, “Here I stand disarmed in limbo / You stand with your arms akimbo”—being trapped in your head. So, it is quite a pleasant shock to discover that Minneapolis-based trio-cum-quartet (The Alarmist’s Eric Lovold recently joined), The Arms Akimbo is not striving for feyness on its self-titled debut. Rather, The band’s sound attaches itself more closely to the definition of the stance rather than an evocation of anything else the name might imply. That is to say, The Arms Akimbo has the posturing, proud snarl of an early Elvis Costello and the Attractions record.

Although front man Nicholas Schaser spent three years in London, as evidenced by the band’s sound and standout track “Stories of England”, his voice carries no trace of grating British affectations that anglophilic American singers are sometimes prone to. Nor does Schaser allow his vocal capabilities to meet the same unpleasant fate that many American power-poppers and others indebted to Costello’s influential sound fall prey to. There is no nasally “Girls” whining, no derivative riffs.  All The Arms Akimbo have to offer are ebullient, hooky pop songs and a blazingly sunny future.

The Arms Akimbo


We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.

//Mixed media


"No Dollars in Duende": On Making Uncompromising, Spirited Music

// Sound Affects

"On the elusive yet clearly existential sadness that adds layers and textures to music.

READ the article