Tired Arms - Tired Arms [EP]
The idea really dawned on me on my premiere listen to this record, I remember it well. Tired Arms make me feel sentimental about my childhood - not my own particular childhood, but the industry that preceded the one which exists now. The idea of a British duo shutting themselves away and refining an individual, anti-social sound is an old-fashioned one to me. Tired Arms have been combining electronica with organic post-synth since 2008, and when their debut self-titled album Tired Arms arrived in my mailbox last week, it was the first I'd heard of Evan Gildersleeve and Lawrence King, however, I let them into the house and gave Tired Arms a chance to breath.
Opener 'Blind Summit' rolls and turns in its womb. Waves of smooth-synthesisers bellowing comforting frequencies ensue and command as we're led by the hand to 'Andy', which is far more substantial than its predecessor. I found an immediate charm in Tired Arms' soundscapes as they're constructed by a combination of boorishly untreated synths, muddy guitar lines, and a drum-kit - you wouldn't expect to find instrumentation of this ilk on this record; maybe Sigur Rós are an influence.
Though I enjoy and understand an un-patronising form of delivering the messages in your art, sometimes it feels like the songs on Tired Arms are built for a leading melody which isn't there. Introducing more varying timbres for the foremost element might have complimented the texture and components that the album is constructed of, as opposed to the thickening them. It requires something which is more definite as opposed to non-committal.
'12:23' is an interlude which consists of layered acoustic guitars allaying interacting arpeggios. It's another juxtaposition which develops into a dynamic subtlety – thus helping this release to find its niche. 'Ursa Minor' is an off-colour, aphotic piece which is driven by its rhythmic direction – Aphex Twin are in there somewhere. The interacting drums and ever-changing demeanour is hypnotising. In many ways, 'Ursa Minor' feels like a further developed, more succinct version of the album's finishing track 'Seven'.
Tired Arms is heavy, substantial and stylistically dark as night, however, it's a record with qualities that pervade logical attraction n music. The pieces are rife with subtlety and possess an individual kind of craft when gathered and analysed as a whole. The elements that define the record are somewhat plain, but there's credence in that. At times, the songs might not be cunning enough, and the lack of development leaves you pondering what aspects could've been developed so that it was a little more fulfilling. It's an interesting record with an utmost respect for the music at its behest which in turn, promises to improve as more and more is cultivated in future releases and listens.