C.AARMÉ's self-titled debut full-length is a dull-edged bludgeoning instrument, railing from right to left on one- and two-note basslines backed by barely in tune guitars. The Gothenburg, Sweden, quartet makes its way to the U.S. via Epitaph's reciprocal deal with Burning Heart/Car Crash. It incorporates that country's fascination with piston-driven garage punk, but also derives crackling energy from near atonality, cycling super-brief rants like "Tu Puta Mi Casa," "High Tech," and "It Must Hurt Now" into bass-heavy double-time stumblers. Vocalist Jessie Garon is as comfortable copping the sexualized yowl of Ian Svenonius as he is that usual father of punk revivalism, Stooges-era Iggy. The recording (with aid from Division of Laura Lee's Per Stålberg) is perfectly disgusting, with barely any treble and a mess of middle ranges that makes the guitars and bass sound like a huge rubber band thrumming over the world's crappiest drum kit. In other words, it's perfect. Garon yawps about social ills on "What's the Problem Mussolini" and "No Gracias"; "Who pays your welfare?!" he might be saying on the latter, but like the American kids' earliest experiments with hardcore, it's a generalized sentiment made resonant not by clear statement, but the much clearer illustration of martial rhythm and stomping boots. C.AARMÉ never slows down. Late album entries "Gag" and "Worst Part" are just as furious. Is Garon screaming "Hey knuckleheads" on the latter? Who knows. What matters is the song's relentlessly awesome, totally ragged thud. C.AARMÉ just might make slam dancing cool again.
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus