Mystery of Two

Arrows Are All You Know

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As can be expected from a trio with two members who play with Pere Ubu spin-off band Home and Garden, Arrows Are All You Know is very much in the spirit of what might (by the time of this 2007 release) be called "classic" Cleveland post-punk. The melodies are on the barren and downbeat side; the sound compact and gnarly, matching grim fuzzy guitar with a dour funk-rock rhythm section; and the yelping, strangled vocals skirt atonality. The songs build in tension, but despite the energy of the playing and singing -- in which the words are often obscure or downright difficult to discern -- the mood is unrelentingly grim, if with a grain of flippancy. There are also ventures into slower, more dramatic territory that create ominous folk ballads of sorts with acoustic guitar and eerie effects in the mix, particularly "Gravel." You've got to be heartfelt to play music as uncommercial as this, but it's not just dully downbeat; it's been done better by previous groups that have gone over similar ground.

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