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The Armed Forces

Modern Gospel for Modern Men & Women

(Self-released; US: 21 Jan 2008; UK: Unavailable)

The Armed Forces is basically a front for egotistical frontman (and Nashville native) Brandon Jazz, a young man who is more than happy to label his group “The World’s Most Dangerous Pop Band”—when, in fact, they’re as harmless as a doe-eyed puppy dog. Jazz and co. have the retro-rock strut down, but that’s about all that they got: “Now, Now People” is a regrettable tossed off pop number that lacks any bite whatsoever, and the regrettably titled “Rock N’ Roll Nigger (Part Two)” manages to use all of its 47 seconds to annoy and do nothing more. Things fare better with the other three songs on this brief EP: “In the Free World” works as a somewhat accidental tribute to “Cleveland Rocks” crooner Ian Hunter, and “The Runaways” actually implements its retro-kitsch well, sounding like a fully-formed song amidst a sea of demos that need drastic re-writes. If you really do need some genuine flashback rock fun, then download that Foxboro Hottubs EP that Green Day put out. Otherwise, the only danger that’s actually involved with the Armed Forces is the danger of you wasting your money.

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Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and multiple national newspapers. Evan has been a guest on WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry, and many others. He is a current member of The Recording Academy and resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


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