Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Artifical Limbs - Limited Mobility Vol. 1

Artificial Limbs are a punk band from New Jersey that have a late 70's sound to them. The songs are melodic, but gritty in their delivery. The guitar tone is very clean and bright, backed by straight forward drums and steady bass. The guitar solos don't really bother me here; which I'm usually repulsed by them. I can't help but feel this also has some early 90's alternative rock sensibilities in it's melodies; perhaps similar to Dramarama or The Replacements.

For the most part Artificial Limbs stick with a verse/chorus formula. There seems to be a lot of attention given to the choruses, as this band seems to deliver catchy hooks pretty consistently. I'm finding each chorus comes with some layered vocals that emphasize the melodies well. There's usually guitar solos, though tracks like "Life of Luxury" forgo the solos for something a bit more introspective.

"At Midnight" finds the back breaking their formula and getting uncharacteristically fast. I'm not sure that it works as well as the mid tempo tracks do. It's almost as though the music is going so fast that the same attention to melodic detail can't be applied. I tend to like when this band does a darker introspective sound like "In A Rut Again". It works well for them. They close with "Too Many Heart Attacks" which shows the band attempting some sort of "snotty punk" sound. The track doesn't really work for me with it's minimalism. We've seen the band capable of so much more on the record so it seemed like an odd song to close with.

There are some good moments here, though Artificial Limbs is a band where I would probably find myself picking and choosing the choice tracks and leaving the others behind.

Listen to it here.