My favorite part of any concert is finding new music through the opening acts.
This happened on February 25th, 2016 at Velvet Jones on State Street in Santa Barbara. I had been highly anticipating seeing Hunny and, therefore, vaguely remember hearing anything about the opening acts. Kid Cadaver was the first opening act and so I guess you could say the upbeat tempo of their music set the scene for a fun night. Next up, however, was ARMORS.
Three guys walked on stage: a keyboardist (Sam Beresford), a singer/drummer (Olen Kittelsen), and a bass guitarist/other funky musical technical stuff person (Kody Buxton).
First of all, I was obviously taken aback when Kittelsen situated himself in a standing position behind the drum set and in front of a microphone. It’s a rare occurrence to see the lead-man double up as the drummer for a band and it definitely added to the uniqueness of the show.
The show was fantastic. They played songs from their new EP, “Collisions” (discussed below), and even surprised the crowd with a brilliant cover of Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz where Buxton amazed us all with his incredible remake of the “rapping” portion of the song while Kittelsen sang the chorus.
The show ended all too quickly and, before I knew it, my friends and I were having a conversation with Kittelsen about the show and other music-related things. I don’t recall much of this conversation but one thing stuck with me: “Would you say you’ve heard anything like our music before? Like, does our music sound like anything you’ve heard before?” Kittlesen asked. I thought about it for a second and racked my brain for any possible connections but came up completely empty.
I spent the next few days listening to their debut EP, “Collisions”, on repeat. Released on December 4th, 2015, “Collisions” is a small collection of diverse, upbeat, and catchy tunes that all seem unique in their own way and add to the listening experience as a whole.
The opening song is “Parasite” which definitely sets the mood for the EP and easily establishes a sense of what the band’s overall sound is like. With heavy keyboard sounds and a strong drum beating behind smooth vocals, this song is a great opener for the album.
Next up is one of my personal favorites, “Catastrophic”. All I have to say about this song is that everything about it is absolutely fantastic and, if you were to listen to any of their songs before the others, this should be it.
Track 3 is “Aubrey.” This song definitely takes a turn from the first two with its hypnotic backing vocals and exceptional lyrics that tell a story of a seemingly difficult relationship. The chorus reverts back to the upbeat and catchy mood that ARMORS has established in the previous two songs, but then the song quickly changes back to the mesmerizing sounds it set up in the beginning.
“Revolvers” might be tied up with “Catastrophic” for me. The song starts off strong with a quick drum beat and a beautifully distinct guitar riff and just an overall upbeat mood. The chorus is fun and catchy and the various instruments used to create this song are well-exhibited and simply add to an overall enjoyable experience when listening to this song.
The second to last song is “Old House” which starts off slow with smooth vocals and a delicate guitar in the background. The drum suddenly kicks in at around 8 seconds and keeps the beat going throughout the rest of the song, with elevations in tempo during the chorus and sporadically after the first chorus.
Finally, “Comatose” closes the EP. It’s much slower, overall, than their other songs, but definitely keeps a somewhat-upbeat rhythm which makes it a perfect closing song to a great album. -j
ARMORS official site can be found here.