ARM, THE: Self-titled: 8-song CD

Androgyny, angularity, and a cold-processed fusion of Wire and Lifter Puller: all neon arrows point to art rock. For this guy, art rock’s like a blister forming under a toenail. There’s a point where it’s gotta pop, where you have to go through the ugliness of drilling the X-acto tip right into the nail and the first head of blood and pus pools up… then push, push, push. The Arm, although hard to put an ear around at first, deliver in the end with a perfectly ugly, dance-in-the-doom release. Folks who dig the in-a-dark-butcher’s-freezer sound of Joy Division would do well to pick this up. Don’t let the dodgy bronze goose on the cover fool you, it’s pretty damn good.

 –todd (Last Gasp; www.lastgasprecords.com)