The Blood Arm – Infinite Nights album review

The task of the critic has shifted over the years it would seem. Instead of commenting on cultural shifts and artistic exploration, they have become thesauruses, (or is that thesauri?) forced to come up with new and imaginative ways to say ‘boring, uninspired junk.’ Case in point: The Blood Arm’s newest release, Infinite Nights, a record so full of forgettable fluff it could possibly be mistaken for a roll of building insulation.

It’s not that the band didn’t try. They wrote at the lowest common denominator. Songs like “Wrong Side of the Law,” bleating “who could blame two people so in love?” and “Happy Hour,” with its announcement, “we wanna dance ’til morning / we wanna dance ‘til the evening” certainly shoot straight to the very foundation of the target audience. We get it, you’re young and want to have fun and party all night. Great, so have most young people over the course of modern history. Unless you have some new insight on that mindset (something the entire album sorely lacks), than there really is no reason to fill an album with vapid lyrics and sleep inducing melodies proclaiming your love of the party.

Nearly all other aspects of the record fail as well. The album opens with the exact drumbeat intro of The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” perhaps the quintessential example of Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” concept. Except this production is the anti-Spector; sparse, thin, cheap. It could be argued that that is precisely the effect the band is after; calling attention to that polar opposition. Certainly a thought worth entertaining, but given the album’s immature, utterly childish approach to everything else, I fear that may be a stretch.

The guitar on tracks like “Oh Ali Bell!” and the title track, “Infinite Nights” sounds as though whoever is playing it just picked up the instrument a few weeks ago. Nearly every single chord change is accented by the sound of fingers drug up and down the strings. The strumming consists purely of downstrokes; chunky and awkward, with no punctuation. This is fine for a beginner; every player was there at some point, but it is completely juvenile and amateurish to include on a record. (Unless it is necessary for the song. Here is it not!)

Lyrically, the record falls far short of attaining any kind of depth. “Another Step Along The Way” seems to include every cliché of bad teenage songwriting. Nearly every track on the collection tries far too hard to be angsty, deep, and introspective. “Matters of the Heart” changes direction several times, it’s overall weak delivery a clear indication the band had absolutely no idea where they wanted the song to go. Its overt reference to the Beatles’ “Day In The Life” simply does not work as an excuse to throw a little bit of everything into the mix.

Having said all that, there are some gems in the (mostly) vast wasteland. “Sex Fiend” is a great punkish, post new-wave tune reminiscent of the best Pixies, and the single, “Midnight Moan” is a perfectly acceptable distorted-guitar-and-drum song, with a great piano riff thrown in for good measure. In the scheme of things, even “Torture” is, ironically, one of the easiest listens on the collection.

Overall, Infinite Nights is definitely worth skipping.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top