Of the best possible ingredients one can use to formulate a fresh new sound, — samplers, synthesizers, singers, etc… — it’s a shot of good old-fashioned ironic humor that can be just the trick for attaining musical success in today’s indie landscape.
A.R.E Weapons may have mastered the musical art of funny, but the band added an abundance of the frightening as well.
“We don’t try to be ironic, but in being serious we’re funny dudes,” beat-man Matt McAuley said. “As a band we’re not a joke, but we see the lighter side of life.”
A.R.E. rolls into town for a show tonight at Orpheum in Ybor. And it should be a show to remember.
“The live show is like listening to the CD as loud as your stereo goes, screaming over it and things falling down as well. That’s about it,” McAuley said.
The too-cool band is a hard-ass NYC duo with a sense of musical humor somewhere between Spinal Tap and The Streets. However, they play violent, yet catchy, tunes that paint a West Side Story meets Apocalypse Now picture of disturbing proportions.
The music the Weapons create is an eerily captivating narrative of the NYC streets that produced it; hip hop, punk and electronic form a wonderfully entertaining musical collision.
Two friends, Matt McAuley and “Brain” McPeck, make up A.R.E. — along with part-time Weapon/band manager Paul Sevigny — their pseudonym for creating a debut album for the ages. The self-titled record is an electro-fuzz-hop journey stuffed with ironically witty lyrics, tons of drug references and some of the sickest beats this side of Daft Punk.
A.R.E. Weapons is an album that works on a variety of levels. It’s a truly innovative record for music buffs, a source of some unsettlingly witty humor and music to chase someone down and beat him or her to death to — simultaneously.
“Don’t Be Scared” is an anthemic portrayal of the life of a sleazebag that introduces the Weapons to the world. Lyrics like: “People think you’re a loser/ A drug abuser/ Because you like to get high/ That’s alright mommy/ So do I” soar above a tornado of chain sawing guitars and crunchy, electro beats. The chorus makes a truly intellectual empowerment in favor of the loser, however: “Dude, that’s cool/ It’s f—ing awesome/ And life was meant to be awesome.”
Were truer words ever spoken?
The song “Street Gang” is a retro, beatbox-ish cut poked by various electronic needles throughout. The vivid picture of street life is painted — with a hint of tongue and cheeck, of course, on this track and the electro-clash, drug dealer anthem, “F— You Pay Me.”
But the greatest track on this album, and quite possibly in music history, is the track “Bad News.” It is a song about the credo of being, brace yourself now, a Bad News Bear. This brilliant song includes lines like: “I said the Bad News Bears are on a scare/ Coming in first from out of nowhere/ They’re raising up the baseball stakes…They blacken out their eyes/ These kids are playing to win.” And it only gets better: “About a hundred kids wanna kill me/ I’m a Bad News Bear and I always will be…We go out/ We freak out/ That’s what Bad News is all about.”
It’s musical irony at its pinnacle, and the Weapons seem to know it — because they live it.
“The song comes from the feeling that we are the Bad News Bears in everything we do,” McAuley said. “We lose s–t, break s–t and get kicked out of the league. But in the end we have a good time, just like the Bad News Bears. We have some serious unity with the Bears.”
Boy, the next Weapons album is just screaming for a tune about the Mighty Ducks gang.
A.R.E. Weapons, simply put, are really cool guys that party-hard, dress so bad it’s good and spew witty stories like nobody’s business. Lucky for us, they also make it their life’s work to make seriously awesome music.
And, hey, life was meant to be awesome.