Armalite - Humungous [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Humungous [7-inch] (2011)

No Idea Records

I've had supergroups on my mind a lot lately. Blame it on Wild Flag. But when I heard Armalite was finally following up their pretty darn great self-titled 2006 debut with a seven-inch, I was thoroughly stoked. The group consists of Atom Goren (guitar/vox), Mike McKee (guitar/vox), Dr. Dan Yemin (bass) and Jeff Ziga (drums), otherwise known for seminal work with bands including, but not limited to, Kid Dynamite, Lifetime, Paint It Black, Atom and His Package, Kill the Man Who Questions and Amateur Party. Armalite, along with the Loved Ones' Keep Your Heart, Latterman's …We Are Still Alive and the Lawrence Arms' Oh! Calcutta!, kept my head clear in 2006. Five years later, I'm finally getting some more tunes.

Thankfully, new seven-inch Humungous does not shit all over my memories. While the production is a little lackluster, this sounds like the Armalite I fell in love with years ago. McKee fronts two out of the three tracks. "New Years" and "Boots, Sneakers" are rockers, shouted out over the top of snarling chords and frenetic drums. That guitar lead on "New Years" is pure Lifetime.

Even though the songs are all around the same length (two minutes ‘n' 30-45 seconds), Goren's contribution, "Double Negativity-ing," sounds like an epic pop suite compared to McKee's more hardcore-leaning tracks. Just as he did with His Package (tee-hee), Goren still knows how to push nasally, insanely energetic pop tunes. He's just doing it with a punk band now. "Double Negativity-ing" almost feels like two songs, one that's a spastic fight song and one that's a lushly arranged vocal showcase.

My lone complaint about Humungous: Armalite should have kept going and made a full-length, even though Dr. Yemin doesn't believe in those anymore. At just three songs, Humungous is a bit of a tease, but a welcome one all the same.