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The Arthurs - The Gloaming (self-released)

29 February 2024

Nice! It’s a sucker-punch start, one that lulls you into a sense that this might just be another slice of nice, understated, play-by-the-rules, alt-rock before knocking your socks off and loosening a few teeth. Blam! Yes, you have my attention!

On the strength of this one song, the first I have heard by them, I would say that The Arthurs is the perfect example of how you borrow from what has gone before to create something suitable for the present. That first explosive sonic kick is right out of the Pixies playbook, and from there, it is possible to detect the echos of bands such as Nirvana in the weight of the onslaught, Sonic Youth’s angularity and abrasiveness, and even some older, Doorsian-Dionysian darkness and mystique hanging over the soundscape. They even throw in some psychedelic-tinged, blues-infused otherness in their solos.

But, of course, you don’t marvel at the grandeur of a cathedral by studying its building blocks; you appreciate its beauty by taking in the overall appearance, and that is what you need to do here. It is not how brilliantly the musical elements fit together that matters; it is the beauty of the sonic architecture that takes your breath away.

I may have said that “The Gloaming” is an example of borrowing from the past to make music for the present. But I need to take this one stage further. Music, being a cyclical force, means The Arthurs are creating more than just music that keeps rock music relevant today. They are actually leading a charge into the dawn of a bright new musical future.