steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Man At Arms

"A Waste of Time and Space" CD

Joyful Noise Recordings

Genre: indie rock, math-rock, experimental rock

Ann Arbor MI / Cleveland OH

Jan 24, 2009

A Waste of Time and Space is a dangerous thing to call an album if you're planning on submitting it for review, but it seems Man At Arms likes to live life on the edge. Well, props to them on their fortitude, and congratulations as well for creating a record that deserves accolades rather than insults. This distance-transcending Michigan/Ohio act produces mathy indie rock that reeks of cool, implementing loud/soft dynamics, complex rhythms, and angular guitar theatrics. In short, basically every trick in the modern indie/noise-rock canon. The result is an intriguing and unpredictable record, although these thirteen songs also exhibit a surprising commitment to accessibility. Tracks like "The Trial" and calculated "What's On" will weasel their way into your head with surprising ease, while others earn their keep due to their almost jazz-like compositional allure ("Urine: The Picture," "Stranded in the Futures"). Fans of Cap'n Jazz, Faraquet, Jawbox, and otherwise intense and irregular indie rock bands: look no further.

man at arms' myspace


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2008]