A.R.E. WEAPONS Darker Blue CD/LP

A.R.E. Weapons has been a fallback listen for a year or two now, and I press on despite this current gaffe: Matching cover mugs a la Suicide Name-that-product, aping Rev-Vega cover art from Second Album to Half Alive. New York, with a few exceptions, doesn't generally rock like this; burring synths and whapping electric drums and murmurs. And don't forget the faux brutishness. Earlier we heard "Fuck You Pay Me," and this time we hear "What the Fuck Do You Want." These three guys deliver the mess on Darker Blue and it's again a walk through underground noise.

A.R.E. guys A.R.E. poseurs and good ones. They outdo Pissed Jeans in that regard—twice-derivative, once good. All this tangles into I Like. And the tribute to Jeffrey Lee Pierce, "Jeffrey Lee" is a good one. Sure they play the game like they're New York street while the smell of East Coast suburbs is all over them. But the music plays true and firm. [DFN]




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