It is true that San Francisco has churned out some seriously great acts recently. The area is home to creativity, tolerance, and experimentation which all combine to create a unique scene exploding beyond genres. One of our favorite finds from the area are rockers Cables & Arms. You will be hard-pressed to find a more aggressively confident and destructive band on the entire left coast. Both familiar and exploratory, the four-piece have created a tight and incendiary collection of ten uppercuts to your musical sensibilities, Framing Defeat for the Critical Eye. In many ways, the band nods to the music many of us were raised on – AFI, Stone Temple Pilots, Yellowcard – without losing their deep sense of unique identity.
The band makes an incredible entrance with opener “Loss of Gain”. Mixing sound clips from different media, the song sets the table for a narrative about depravity, forgiveness, and self-determination. This could easily sound like something AFI would release in their heyday. It is assuredly punk with its breakdowns and “help me” chants. It is an extraordinary kick to the gut.
“Hang the Moon” could be the band’s version of sentimentality. The lyrical description of hanging the moon while digging a grave is vivid and emotive while being the most remembered and sung lyric from the album by the staff here at ETTG. While not screamo, the band does have its moments of screeching bliss toward the end of this track.
“A Lasting Mark” starts with another sound bite that drives the album along before ripping into some of the best instrumentation on the album. The drums are particularly amazing here. Drummer Brad Kayal is relentless and perfect for what the band seeks out to achieve. Throughout the album, and here especially, the chemistry of the band explodes through refreshingly.
Just when you are ready for a breather, “Wisdom Teeth” combusts through your ear buds. The stop and starts are lethal here and form an aggressive sound atmosphere topped off by the exceptional rock pipes of both Nick Baker and Josh Brown. “You’ll Be Sorry” pairs well with this tune and is a classic minute and a half punk burner that we all need in times like these.
Bands like Cables & Arms have something for every listener. Whether you dig more aggression and angst, or lyrics that scream authenticity, they are happy to engage all crowds. If you are into great riffs, soul clinching bass lines, and volatile drums, these are your patron saints.
Framing Defeat for the Critical Eye officially comes out February 19th, but never fear. Pre-order it here, and make sure to get the limited edition vinyl. You can also download all of their prior music for free here.