Arrows – Modern Art & Politics (2008)
By Dan Rogan – Brief Habits
In this series, a label artist reflects on a favourite release from the Hobbledehoy catalog. First to step up is Dan of Brisbane’s Brief Habits.
I remember the moment Carl handed me the CD version at his Balmoral share-house after a long night of drinking. There is a good chance I cried the first time I put it in my CD player the next day (being the drunken, romantic emo I was and probably still am.)
Modern Art and Politics was one of the most treasured albums of my 20s. We had kinda grown up with these guys. We met at 15 when our bands at the time shared a bill together at Reefo’s Bar in the valley. The best thing about Reefo’s was they paid the bands in beer, no matter what age we were… We bonded instantly – continued to play more shows around Brisbane together and maintained keen friendships over the following years.
It’s hard not to listen to Modern Art & Politics and not be transported right back into nights watching the band live at Fat Louies, 299, Rosies… any one of these places – Drink in hand surrounded by mates and singing along to every word. Arrows created a sound that to me felt uniquely Brisbane while taking in all of the best late 90s/early 00s emo/indie/punk rock had to offer. Much of the bands Carl had kindly told me to check out over MSN throughout the previous years – all the brilliant Deep Elm bands, Mineral, Explosions [In The Sky]… etc.
I love the minimalist/ predominantly DIY production on this record (Something that has a great influence on ourselves recording DIY). The drums and bass tones are open and natural and perfectly suit the authentic vibe Carl and Anders always kept. The clean guitars wander and bounce off each other so well before exploding into episodes of crushingly bitter overdrive. Ants voice and words at moments delicate and vulnerable: the next ready to breakout into angry bitterness and hopeless despair.
This album feels like my 20 something year old self – and that feels like a perfectly fine time to me (haha) xo