A Look In The Local Bin: Arc Flash
Arc Flash‘s Carbon Copy is a debut that feels less like a debut than something that has always existed below the surface of this reality. The Lawrence duo makes music that hums at the weirder edges of indie pop–blending effect-grinded vocals, jittering guitar riffs, and unstoppable percussion with the ease of a much more mature band. Maybe this has to do with their other projects (including Psychic Heat), or maybe it has to do with the band’s stripped down aesthetic. Whatever it is, Arc Flash’s High Dive debut is fast paced, a party on wax.
Carbon Copy begins with the one two punch of “Sync” and “Blood.” The two songs not only set the bar high for what’s to come but also waver between the band’s two overarching genres. “Sync” bubbles with a pop effervescence that creates energy as it unfurls. Spinning right into “Blood,” the punkier song of the two, “Sync” kicks off the album with a burst. “Blood” is a full on psych punk freak out. Riff-filled and unable to stay still, the second song climbs through its parts at a breakneck speed.
Despite Carbon Copy‘s tight grooves and lock-step rhythmic changes, there’s a jerky feel to it, a live recording aura that surrounds the entire album. Rather than detract from Arc Flash’s debut, the rough hewnness of the record gives it a palpable energy–one few bands, no matter how passionate their live shows are, can capture. Carbon Copy balances the necessities of recording with the devil-may-care fun of a live show perfectly from start to end.
And nowhere is this more apparent than the album’s single, “Earls.” Definitely a summer jam, “Earls” meshes layered textures over a driving beat. The bouncing rhythm of the track is reminiscent of Wavves without ever feeling like a direct descendent of their sound. Arc Flash takes the rolling pop punk riffs and bends and distorts them to fit their unique style. “Earls” keeps Carbon Copy‘s as the album enters its final quarter.
While Carbon Copy blows through its tracks, it does so seemingly without progressing from “Sync” to “Tuff.” The album’s refusal to move much through its grooves works to underscore the band’s tropes and concepts. Simply putted, Carbon Copy is a punk show in space on wax. It is able to stay close to its origin precisely because Arc Flash is so good at capturing fire again and again.
The album boasts a ton of potential for this duo. If you hadn’t caught these guys doing their thing on stage, you should change that immediately. With a live show that is every bit as entrancing as their debut, Arc Flash never disappoints.