7" Review: Arrivals, Razorcake "Sister Series"
|Arrivals at the Hexagon|
The record definitely has an A-side/B-side distinction with the first two songs, "My Generation" and "I Wouldn't Dare," carrying the weight. The former title contemplates the effectiveness of countercultures as Thotz questions the status quo in his recognizable rasp. "I Wouldn't Dare" features a walking bassline and a '50s power pop feel permeating the melody and undercutting the aggression, which emphasizes Merriman's more sentimental manner.
When the record flips, things get a more experimental and less memorable. "Drill Baby Drill" has a dancey, syncopated rhythm, with Thotz doing a speak-sing over the music. The record closes with the signature of the Sister Series: bands covering one another. On the Grabass Charlestons' companion 7", there is an Arrivals cover as well. The idea is that the bands are well suited for each other and the record will spark interest in each artist. In this case, "Ask Mark Twain" is the most traditional punk song on the record, with straightforward yelling over loud guitars. The Arrivals make it their own between the verses, messing around with the structure in a way that's dangerously close to jamming. It's a fun way to close a 7", but it doesn't feel particularly inspired. The reason to buy this record is Side A.