Judgement Day With Arnocorps

I need your clothes, your boots and maybe a jam sandwichBand ”“ Arnocorps
EP ”“ I’m Ballsy
Label ”“ Anticulture/Vulcan Sky Records
Release date ”“ June 2009 (yeah, late review)
Sounds like ”“ every time you hear Arnold Schwarzenegger scream “GOOOO!” followed by an explosion. Then several more explosions.

Having exhausted nearly all the Arnold Schwarzenegger films by over ‘eggering’ (doesn’t work) the basket on their debut album, ‘The Greatest Band Of All Time’ you could be forgiven for thinking that Arnocorps had run out of material. Fear not, they still have some tricks or should I say songs, up the sleeves of their combat fatigues. Whilst ‘Twins’ and thankfully, ‘Junior’ have failed to make the transition from screen to their new EP; such films as ‘Kindergarten Cop’, ‘Red Heat’ and ‘Terminator 2’ make the cut, as does a re-recording of the song ‘Terminator’ from their first release.

There’s nothing remotely clever about Arnocorps music, except perhaps the ability to match film dialogue/plot lines with a coherent tune ”“ a skill in which they are at the forefront and the true undisputed masters. At first, there seems very little change from 2005’s ‘The Greatest Band Of All Time’ ”“ it’s the trademark sound; fast, aggressive faux-Austrian rock that slams into your ears with relentless force. However, the subtle differences start to break through, like that scene in ‘The Terminator’ where the shoddy-looking animatronic puppet tries to break through the factory door. They seem to have reigned in a lot more of the scrappier sounding, throw-away guitar parts, opting for a tighter, more focussed metallic attack. Holzfeuer’s vocals are a barbed, ferocious instrument of bellowing noise, whilst the dual guitar attack of Barrakuda and Klampfe deviates into classic rock and 70s metal fury.

Opening track ‘I’m Ballsy’ is, in Holzfeuer’s immortal words, “a goddamn anthem of our generation right here”¦” and he’s not wrong. Note to bands: this is how you open a record. No plagiarised samples, no electronic ambient bullshit 1-minute fade-in load of granny cock; you need your singer bellowing about what a massive studly bastard he is and what cigars he smokes. This could well one of the most perfect songs ever ”“ it’s incorrigible, pummelling punk-rock nature, coupled with self-appraising vocals of grandeur, some terrific backing vocals and a chorus that latches on to you with a force equal to that of a Terminator back-hand through a brick wall. ‘I’m Ballsy’ is the kind of song that leaves you breathless, with the same “what the fuck” feeling that John Connor no doubt felt after being lifted one-handed off his pushbike by a square-chinned, shotgun totting man in black leathers. ‘Red Heat’ follows a similar path; – it’s 3 minutes of Zeke-inspired speed-punk rumbles past a breath-taking rate. The rhythmic hammer of the brothers Alder (Gellend on drums and Toten on bass) pounds through this Russian buddy-cop film with thunderous intent, whilst Holzfeuer rattles off quick lyrical jabs, chanting at the end for us to “FEEL THE BURN! FEEL RED HEAT!”T2>T1>>>>>>bottomless pit>>>>>>>>a pile of cow dung>>>T3

Whether they know or reference it as an influence or not, The Ramones play a part in the Arnocorps sound, particularly on ‘You Lack Discipline.’ From the shrill piercing whistle opening and the rollicking drum roll, to the skate-punk rush of clattering guitars; the spirit of Joey, Dee Dee and the others lives on in the form of 5 burly action adventure rock ‘n roll heroes. It’s hard not to raise a smile to the lyrics, which reference one particular cinematic outing, which featured the governor of California teaching a bunch of toddlers how to march, tidy up their mess, look after ferrets and dismantle machine guns (ok not this). The very fact they managed to shoe-horn in the “IT IS NOT A TUMOR!” line, singles the anthemic ‘You Lack Discipline’ as one of the best tracks the ‘Corps have ever released. Holzfeuer exhibits the kind of pent-up rage that any drill instructor has, and expels it with such fever-soaked tgusto, it’s hard not to begin chanting along, fist in the air, screaming for “DISCIPLINE!”

The re-recorded version of ‘Terminator’ (original features on TGBOAL); is obviously present to tie in with the 4th film of the ‘brain-destroying-paradox’ that the Schwarzenegger series has now become, despite the fact the big man himself is only present as a computer generated visage. The drumming appears faster and more focused, whilst Holzfeuer’s growl is stronger than ever, showing how his vocal range has achieved a grittier, vicious bloodlust of fury. ‘Judgement Day’ is ‘Terminator’s’ brother-in-arms; and whilst retaining the same speed-punk romp, there’s a distinct amount of melody particularly in the opening 30 seconds, which chug at a sturdy, unbalanced pace. The lyrics obviously detail the plot of T2; “I need your boots, your clothes”¦.and your motorcycle!” and the chorus of “chill out, dickwad”¦a storm is coming on Judgement Day!” A heroic mid-air arm-wrestle of pure ballsy determination is raised for the guitars, which squeal with cock-rock exuberance and the kind of headbang-demanding enthusiasm that cannot be faulted. As a nice touch, Holzfeuer also references the ‘rescue squad’ from the ‘Predator‘ film; something that he no doubt attributes the band to be, due to their preference of combat fatigues. ‘Rise of the Machines’ rounds of proceedings with a sturdy, yet desolate sounding piece that whilst to all appearances is a driving, metallic-rock number, seems to detail a hopeless and fearful future of our planet consumed by automation.

The Ballsy’ EP is a welcomed return from one of the most exciting and interesting hard-rock bands around; proof that goddamn heroes still exist; it’s the perfect soundtrack to enjoy alongside the following activities:

Pumping iron
Smoking stogies
Carrying logs on your damn shoulder
Scaling a cliff
Throwing a boulder

Get Ballsy!

Links

Arnocorps
ArnoMyspace
Vulcan Sky Records
Anti Culture

By Ross Macdonald

Lizard Hips

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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