Arms Aloft - What A Time To Be Barely Alive (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Arms Aloft

What A Time To Be Barely Alive (2016)

Red Scare


Comfort At Any Cost was a hell of a record. Midwest punk at its very best. It wasn't just about screeching riffs, big hooks and choruses that made the world explode but it had a lot of emotion invested. Caked with earnest lyrics that reached deeper than your average punk album. Substance topping off the style. What A Time To Be Alive is a reminder that I need to be listening to Arms Aloft a bit more than just periodically. Life got in the way but definitely, I need to get back on the horse because this album is a ripper that will be on replay for days. It's one of the most driving pieces of melodic punk you'll hear this year.

I always lump these guys in with Red City Radio and Success because apart from the rhythm and melodies, their punk has a certain power to it. Fast, grizzly, raw, aggressive and of course, crisp. "Three Altars For Rats" embodies this in spades and is my pick for best song off the album. Bouncy, catchy and an anthem you'll surely enjoy yourself in the pit to. This time around, the lyrics feel not only more personal, but reach out to the state of the world, addressing the positives and negatives we're faced with. The title-track is another uptempo punk banger that reemphasizes this point. Seth Giles' gruff vocals add so much identity to their clever lyrics and it really propels the record in terms of energy. He's quite the engine, as expected, perfectly building off hooks upon hooks. "...And A World To Win" is another gem that allows the band to flex a bit more in terms of chords and riffs, and they do so subtly, balancing everything instead of focusing on one or the other. It's a pretty subtle punk album but so well put together. "The Truth Is Out There" is another song you'll want to punk out with heading down the highway with the sunset in front of you. It's all about road-tripping and letting the worries of the world pass by with each road sign. All shaping What A Time To Be Alive as as melodic punk statement that you shouldn't sleep on. A few tracks don't hit the mark and run off a bit generic but it's still an amazing time from a band that deserves much more credit than it's given. Infectious, to say the least.