by Seth Graves
Whether you love or hate Nashville's The Armed Forces (meaning you probably hate them), perhaps you can at least appreciate their tenacity. Despite increasingly poor results in Nashville popularity polls, this rag-tag crew of hipster misfits doesn't have "quit" in its vocabulary. They continue to play out and tour at every opportunity where the empty rooms and progressively crueler criticisms only seem to push them harder. And of course you remember last year's Next Big Nashville debacle.
Honestly, it seems the only thing that's been keeping the band from assuming a lovable underdog image in our eyes, is, unfortunately, better music. The Armed Forces have always worn a who's-who list of seminal punk and soul influences on their sleeves, but ones that didn't quite translate into audio gold on their debut EP Modern Gospel for Modern Men and Women. Well, whether or not you want to believe it, the band may have actually managed to cough up that missing ingredient with their newest effort. And no, I'm not shitting you. Read on.
Their new single "Savages (Back Out on the Streets)" is the first of a dozen the band intends to release on a monthly basis between now and July 2010 where, following this trend of previously untrendy marketing strategies, the band will release all 12 on a full length titled The Rest Is Noise. Most importantly, the track itself only first touched my ears this morning, but I can already tell it doesn't plan to leave at any point during my shift at the office today-- be that a good or bad thing.
Sporting a few layers of crunchy guitar riffs, a melody reminiscent of The Cars, and a gang chorus that calls to mind The Boomtown Rats, this thing is loaded with just the kind of hooks necessary to earn my respect. Singer/songwriter/local-hipster-boy-wonder Brandon Jazz has not only learned to carry a tune, but has obviously been on a heavy diet of slick, anthemic '80s rock. And that may have been exactly what his physician (in this case producer/engineer/Mean Tambourine Ryan Truso) prescribed to cure this band from the dreaded "shit sandwich".
The Armed Forces play an official launch party this Saturday, July 4 at 12th and Porter. In the meantime, you can scope out the track yourself here on their MySpace.