The Arrivals - Exsenator Orange (Cover Artwork)

The Arrivals

The Arrivals: Exsenator OrangeExsenator Orange (2003)
Thick Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

This band is too good for pop-punk. No, seriously. Pop-punk bands are supposed to write cheesy songs about girls and masturbation [and I'm talking about the Queers, not Blink-182, so unbunch your panties]. Everyone I know that's ever heard of this band says they're a pop-punk band, but each tim.

This band is too good for pop-punk.

No, seriously. Pop-punk bands are supposed to write cheesy songs about girls and masturbation [and I'm talking about the Queers, not Blink-182, so unbunch your panties]. Everyone I know that's ever heard of this band says they're a pop-punk band, but each time I listen to it, I just can't believe it. There's just too much talent here. Each of the 12 songs on this disc are gritty and dirty as the south side of Chicago, and I can't find a single song that depends on solely three chords.

The band lays all their cards out on the table within the first three songs. The opener, "Dar La Luz," is a speedy romp through the band's arsenal of rumbling drums and power chord after power chord. "Born With A Broken Heart" takes things up another notch, with vocalist Issac bemoaning the song's title as fast as he can, barely even fitting all the words in the phrase. "Analee" rounds out the trio, and shows the band's poppier side. This song [along with "Dirty Inches"] was previously released on the Northern Hospitality EP, but it still sounds fresh and catchy. I love how deceivingly simplistic the guitar solo is.

And that's pretty much the formula for the rest of the CD. Every other track fits into one of those three molds - fast and fairly poppy, really fast and gruff, or midtempo and really poppy. But then right when you figure the band out, they throw in something like a cowbell ["Design"] or a sendoff to bands like Leatherface and the punkier side of Hot Water Music ["Shouting Fire"]. This band's darts are flying through the air every which way, but they all seem to connect with the bullseye eventually.

So why am I giving it only a 7? Because I'm still having a hard time overcoming the pop punk stigma placed upon them by so many reviewers before me. They shouldn't be this versatile; they shouldn't be this adept lyrically; they shouldn't be this good!

Other than that, my only real complaint is the lack of album artwork. The group's first CD, "Goodbye New World," has absolutely fantastic art for their lyrics, and it could easily stand alone from the rest of the CD as a piece of art itself. With this disc, the liner notes are sparse, and the color minimal. Just another way the Arrivals deceive you.



People who liked this also liked:
The Arrivals - Northern HospitalityThe Arrivals - Volatile MolotovThe Arrivals - Marvels of IndustryRise Against - The Sufferer & the WitnessThe Suicide Machines - Destruction By DefinitionLatterman - ...We Are Still AliveOperation Ivy - Operation IvyCarpenter - Sea to SkyThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Weakerthans - Reunion Tour

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (January 28, 2003)

the Arrivals song on the OIL comp is AMAZING. worth the $6 alone.

fallingtopieces (January 28, 2003)

cool thanks

maverick (January 26, 2003)

It's not as straightforward punk rock, it's definitely more in-depth, both talentwise and lyrically.


fallingtopieces (January 25, 2003)

how does this cd compare to their debut "Goodbye New World" album??

Anonymous (January 25, 2003)

the band Chicago is better than these guys.

lawrencearms217 (January 24, 2003)

This is clearly one of the many examples of how Chicago has always had a great scene. I don't think you East Coasters never have warmed up to the Midwest until now. Chicago has never followed any trends, and the Midwest clearly has a different sound from the other areas in the states. The Smoking Popes are ganna have their biggest year with these two new releases and they don't even exist anymore!

Anonymous (January 24, 2003)

the early 90s huh...right...

Anonymous (January 24, 2003)

remember a time when everything was just labelled punk?

to many sub genres
bring back early 90's scene that rocked,

Anonymous (January 23, 2003)

Yeah, because you know, God forbid there are talented bands in every genre of punk music...fucking idiot reviewer. If the Arrivals are too "good" to be a certain genre of music, maybe you're just trying not to admit that just maybe, some pop punk is good. I thought the reviewers of punk music would be punk enough to truly not care about what other people thought...Guess you'll just have to give this awesome POP PUNK band up and go back listening to that so much more talented Bouncing Souls and Co music...

Anonymous (January 23, 2003)

Hands down, the Arrivals are the best band to come out of Chicago since Blue Meanies.

Anonymous (January 23, 2003)

Wow Scott, we agree on a band, hell has officially frozen over.


Anonymous (January 22, 2003)

saw these guys open for Dillinger Four in cleveland last year. Great band. Not to mention they have a hot merch girl.

maverick (January 22, 2003)

To the guy who said "wtf?" about my Queers-masturbation comment:

The band has an album entitled "Beat off."

Seems a little bit more blunt than say, "Take Off Your Pants and Jacket," doesn't it?


Anonymous (January 22, 2003)

me thinks someone over-reacted to the Queers comment. settle down. breath. good.

Also - how can Screeching Weasel be considered east bay punk, unless of course you're refering to Lake Michigan. they're from Chicago.

finally, The Arrivals rock. plain and simple. as to their legacy, i suppose time will tell. I just hope they continue to put out great records, and Exsenator Orange is a damn good step.

Anonymous (January 22, 2003)

Even though you assert the Queers as being simply a cheesy pop-punk band who write songs about masturbation (wtf?), they have more historical relevance than the Arrivals ever will. MTX, Queers, Screeching Weasel, Jawbreaker, and even Green Day define essential East Bay pop-punk. They helped unify a community and create a distinction unique to Berkley/Oakland/SF. I don't see the Arrivals doing this. Don't trivialize bands in comparison to others who haven't contributed anything yet. Get smart.

fallingtopieces (January 22, 2003)

THICK records has some amazing cds in their catalog. I just recieved a mailorder from them today and every cd i got is sick as the dickens. Definitely one of the best labels out there along with No Idea and Asian Man.

Anonymous (January 21, 2003)

I got this CD today (I odered it from Thick) It's amazing..... Pop/Punk...NO WAY! Peace, I'm out.....

REALPUNX4LIFE (January 21, 2003)

My only complaint with Goodbye New World was that the lyrics were so cool that you couldn't read half of them. My only complaint with Northern Hospitality is that it has no lyrics whatsoever and very little artwork. I'm glad this one didn't follow that downward spiral, even though it's barely looking up. Anyways, this record will rock your socks on your ass, pretty artwork or not.

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