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Damn Arms

Patterns EP

(Unikron Records; US: 23 Nov 2006; UK: 20 Nov 2006)

Snap! Crakk!, now reincarnated and relocated (from Melbourne to Sydney) as Damn Arms, fits so easily into the Klaxons-led punk-dance scene you may suspect a copycat—but these songs were written a full year before anyone labeled anyone else “new-rave”. Think: fuzzed-out bass, shouty-style vocals, clicks and clacks, the usual. Test Icicles’ natural heirs make sure we know they know, with a remix by “Dev Test Icicle”; but it won’t be difficult for Damn Arms to outlive their forebears, and it’s a good thing. “Test Pattern”, their big hit, has the kind of unfolding chorus that gets played on radio, along with the fuck-it-all attitude that keeps us coming back. Throughout, these songs are fierce and repetitious, but never take themselves too seriously. Even the less compelling songs, like “Pass Me My Anti-Robotics” (the hardcore-style vocals don’t quite fit, the production’s older, rougher), pull us through with their sleaze and their dance-making. You might think of a live-instrument Justice, at the end of “I Sink, Therefore I Swam”—a massive, pulsating, driving wall. The repetition of structural elements, even within songs, may worry those looking towards the band’s full-length. Of the three remixes, Midnight Juggernauts’ version of “Cormorant” is most successful; you should seek it out, it’s the soundtrack to your next apartment party. Regardless whether Klaxons pull through with Myths of the Near Future, bet Damn Arms will be right behind, redeeming or cashing in.


Dan Raper has been writing about music for PopMatters since 2005. Prior to that he did the same thing for his college newspaper and for his school newspaper before that. Of course he also writes fiction, though his only published work is entitled "Gamma-secretase exists on the plasma membrane as an intact complex that accepts substrates and effects intramembrane cleavage". He is currently studying medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia.

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