Arsonists Get All the Girls – Hits From the Bow
Record Label: Century Media
Release Date: January 27, 2009 (Originally released in 2006)
Century Media Records has always been known as a metal label that carries a diverse line-up within their roster, and Arsonists Get All the Girls further prove that. Their unique brand of metal combines odd time signatures, technical guitar riffs, hard-hitting breakdowns, and heavy synthesizers (which somehow oddly fit their sound).
It's hard to pinpoint exactly what genre this band falls in, since they execute so many different styles. However, don't let this fool you. This band surely knows what they're doing, and do it quite well.
Their debut full length album, Hits from the Bow (originally released on Process Records), is a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. Produced by Zack Ohren at Castle Ultimate Studios (All Shall Perish, Animosity), you can expect this to sound heavy and intense. The album's first track, "This Time You're Going to Get It Dirty Shirley", starts off with the ice cream truck song that we've all grown to love, and the voices of little kids clamoring “Ice cream, ice cream!” However, things begin to shift as loud gunshots and helpless yelling lead into the actual track. Vocalists/Keyboardists Cameron Reed and Remi Rodberg work perfectly together as they trade off vocal duties back and forth, similar to The Number Twelve Looks Like You. The instrumentals are rapid and chaotic, but can also be jazzy at times. This is just a teaser of what you can expect from the rest of the album.
Fan-favorite track “Scobra Vs. Cupcake: Battle Of The Buldge” is one of the many highlights found on Hits from the Bow. The fast-paced energy of guitarist Arthur Alvarez, bassist Patrick Jones (RIP), and drummer Garin Rosen automatically makes you want to just get up and move around wildly. Reed and Rodberg’s vocal range is quite impressive, which switches from exceptionally high-pitched screams to low growls within a matter of seconds. Gang vocals conclude the song with the chant “Go! Step back! Take aim! And pull the trigger!” which can be very extreme when witnessed at their live shows.
“Zombies Ate My Neighbors” brings back a great feel of nostalgia. Reed and Rodberg include synth lines and samples that sound like effects straight from the game. It reminds me of the time when I had a Super Nintendo gaming console and a friend lent me this game to borrow. I ended up playing it obsessively for several weeks. Oh… those were the days.
The album ends powerfully with “City of Angels Cakewalk.” It includes all the elements that have been present thus far, but the band takes it up a notch to leave the listener wanting more. Although Hits from the Bow is a fresh and diverse album within the metal genre, it might not catch on to a lot of standard metal fans due to its experimentation and questionable lyrics, which can sometimes not make much sense. However, if you’re the type of person that enjoys venturing out and trying something new, give this album a shot. It just might surprise you in some way.