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The Arrivals (Re)usher in True Punk

The Arrivals

The Arrivals - Exsenator Orange
(Thick Records)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Dec. 3, 2002

Review by Tony Bonyata

Crude, fast and obstreperous as hell. Ahhh, just the way punk rock was meant to be. But let us not also forget about the passion, something the West Coast skate punks managed to lose in the translation. Rather than coasting along with the post-Black Flag punk movement that has held the fascination of kids turning their flesh into hamburger at skateboard parks for the last two decades The Arrivals have instead embraced the sounds of pure unadulterated punk rock when it mattered most.
Hailing from Chicago's tough South Side this powderkeg quartet have just released their sophomore album entitled Exsenator Orange, an explosive collection of songs that spars both the kick-in-the-teeth attitudes of late '60s Detroit trailer trash with late '70s London skinheads.
From the hook-filled riots of "Analee" and "Just Another Union Song" to the stout melody that stands tall on "-1" and the sloppy infectiousness of "Design" The Arrivals pound these numbers into their listeners like a well-worn punching bag.
Raspy vocalists and guitarists Isaac Thotz and Dave Merriman trade off braying and screaming their punk anthems, but it's their guitars that are so captivating throughout this 12 song collection. Blistering fast chords battle with the rapid fire rhythms provided by drummer Ron Dicola and Dave Kaktis on the opening track "Dar La Luz" and "Dirty Inches," while they offer a bit of six-string poignancy on the tough-but-tender "Shouting Fire."
With an honest, forthright delivery oozing in power and passion The Arrivals make punk rock once again matter.

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