The Arrivals – Exsenator Orange

The Arrivals
Exsenator Orange

If I told you the Arrivals play punk rock with a majority of the lyrical material focusing on heartbreak and relationships, or if I told you they have cartoon replications of their faces on two of the CD covers, you would probably start forming your own conclusions. But you would be wrong. The Arrivals play raw, straightforward punk rock. They play a style of punk that reminds me of the first two punk albums I ever owned, Punk-O-Rama 3 and Punk-O-Rama 4. I loved those CDs because they were full of energy, but the songs weren’t melted into a big lump of mashing metal. That’s the same reason I like the Arrivals; they kick your ass with their energy, and then they help you off the ground with their melody.

They open their sophomore album with “Dar La Luz,” which, compared to the other tracks, could be labeled “tame.” I like how the vocals sound when they are slowed down and contrasted by the hammering instruments. “Analee” shows off the melodic side of the band. With lyrics like, “Analee you’ve nothing to prove to yourself / Better off to do what you know than to live in their hell / A girl of sixteen should find some looser jeans,” the band’s ideology is on a different level than the typical punk band. “-1” is the single of the CD in my opinion. While it’s not as pulsating as the other tracks, it has a really cool feel to it. I like the lyrics too: “I had a thought I’d like to be / In a house of cheese and wine on seventeenth / I’d make friends and company / With the local bourgeoisie.”

These tracks certainly aren’t overproduced, in fact a lot of them see like one-takes, which is a quality that I enjoy in punk music. In fact, “Sleepin’ In” almost has a live quality, at times sounding something like a 4-Skins song. This effect emerges a little less successfully on “This Is My Shovel; This Is My Grave.”

The Arrivals seem to fall somewhere near the middle of the spectrum that ranges from completely underground to completely commercialized. On the one hand, the music has a melodic base, the songs are mostly based on relationships, and they certainly have a marketable look. But on the other hand, the music is raw and the lyrics aren’t dumbed down. In my opinion, the middle is better than either extreme. If you like your punk music to just be a slosh of sound and energy – as many do – this band isn’t for you. If you like melody and song structure in your punk music, however, do not hesitate to give these guys a listen.