We Are The Arsenal – There Will Come Soft Rains

  • Cole Faulkner posted
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We Are The Arsenal

There Will Come Soft Rains - Authentik Artists

Despite existing at he opposite sides of the punk spectrum, listening to Orange County’s We Are The Arsenal reminds me of a review I wrote for From First To Last’s Wolves, album.  Like From First To LastWe Are The Arsenal’s latest EP, There Will Come Soft Rains, tries presenting a respectably self-aware band that listeners can feel good about listening to above the faceless hoards.  However, (and I know how bad this sounds), they’re also just as phony in this regard.  Fact is, the very world of staged “reality TV” that the four-piece rebels against in opener “Cities By The Sea,” is ultimately the only scene they fit into.

There Will Come Soft Rains is a textbook example of over-produced power-pop forcing itself into that modern punk mould through marketing, as opposed to merit.  Vocalist Ryan Terrigno sings to a clean, mid-range pitch fitting somewhere between Emarosa and The Spill Canvas, with his band landing hooks high and in loop heavy territory.  Top off tracks like “Like History” with some suspiciously tuneful gang vocals and most listeners will likely give them a fair first chance.  Problem is, upon moving in for a closer look, these initial rallying cries (i.e. “Circling Vultures”), just don’t stand up.  With very few memorable words, and with every track’s hooks blurring hopelessly together, if asked to recall specific moments, listeners will likely be left scratching their collective heads.

But I suppose their message isn’t all bad.  In fact, those who stay the course should find a few hints of larger aspirations buried deep in the album.  For example, “Fairytales” might start by touting a self-righteous horn (“she never thought her life could be, anything that you see in a movie/that’s until this girl met me”), but eventually unfolds with a message about looking beyond the little things in one’s quest for purpose.  At least for this brief moment, We Are The Arsenal emerges with a hint of future promise. Unfortunately, they slide back into habit with “Hey Little Girl,” which although feel-good in message, exists on very generic and vague grounds.

Otherwise, There Will Come Soft Rains is middle of the road power-pop smothered in gloss.  Evidently, We Are The Arsenal wants to make an impact, but they cut too many corners in the process.  Rather than developing a truly inspiring combination of message meets melody, they simply import an already tired sound and match it with typically vague, middling lyrics. At this point, We Are The Arsenal must up their game or inevitably find comfort existing alongside the cluelessly hopeful hoards of “me too” power-pop acts.