The Arrivals

Exsenator Orange

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    8
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Like Naked Raygun before them, the Arrivals play Chicago-style rough and tumble punk rock that's less about imagery and more about true grit. "Dar La Luz" is a raw, melodic declaration, built on a sturdy rhythmic foundation courtesy of bassist Dave Kaktis and drummer Ronnie Dicola. But dueling frontmen Isaac Thotz and Dave Merriman validate this quartet as the real deal on the desperate anthem "Born With a Broken Heart." If the unwavering hooks found on "-1" sound like Weezer with hair on their chest, the band's charming gruffness on songs like "This Is My Shovel, This Is My Grave" puts them closer to the spirit of classic '80s Midwesterners like the Replacements and Hüsker Dü, than the over-glossed blink-183s and Jimmy Eat Wannabes running amok in the music world. There are shaky moments on Exsenator Orange -- "Just Another Union Song" is exactly what it claims to be -- but by and large, this is urgent, attitudinal rock that's as honest as it is gripping.

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