CRAZY ARM: Dark Hands, Thunderbolts: LP/CD

Mar 17, 2021

Four years in the making, seven years since the last Crazy Arm album, and the oft-teased Dark Hands, Thunderbolts finally sees the light of day. It is well worth the wait. I will never hide my love for this band and this is everything I could have asked for from the outfit I have seen live more this century than any other. Under the direction of mainstays Darren Johns and Jon Dailey, The Arm are more of a collective these days, yet their musical architecture remains the same with Americana, raging punk, and whatever fits providing the building blocks of their output. Throw in some nods to the influences of The Clash, Ennio Morricone, and Murder By Death, and the result is an album which is probably more far reaching than the band has managed previously. The result is the band’s most cohesive collection of songs since its debut Born to Ruin. My current standout track is “… And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Meds,” inspired—if that’s the right word—by John’s mental health battles over the years, a song I have a strong kinship with. This is a stunning album. –Rich Cocksedge (Xtra Mile, [email protected] / Serial Bowl)