Arnold

The Arnold EP

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Given their history with failed music labels and stiff competition from their fellow British counterparts, Arnold has yet to achieve the proper support or recognition that has eluded it for years. Regrettably, the Arnold EP, with its limited release, will most likely not change their status. Following up the lush Bahama, Arnold presents a collection of five self-recorded songs for the in-between-albums EP that shows the band taking another step away from the lo-fi sound of the fantastic Hillside. Arnold continues to flirt instead with the more refined sound that it hinted at with Bahama, where songs like "Climb" and "Oh My" waft like a warm breeze. The Arnold EP follows that path with "You're a Star," "God Knows," and "South," where the airy vocals are so beautifully awash with reverb and harmonies that the lyrics are often indecipherable. These three songs take on a grand quality, as Arnold's uncanny ability to make the most out of every chord change musters emotion at every turn. Bookending these tracks are the EP's opener, "Wild Colonial Girl" (a quick, punk-ish number that may be the fastest song they've recorded) and "Sweet Sweet Sweet Nothing," a song that's repetitive in both name and execution; Arnold's newfound experimentation with programmed drum loops works better as a backbeat on "You're a Star" as opposed to the foundation on which "Sweet Sweet Sweet Nothing" is built. While they may not draw new listeners with this hard-to-find EP, they have whetted their fans' appetite for a fresh batch of new songs to come.