Label: Two-Word Review Records Release date: 29/11/10 Link: Bandcamp Arcs new EP Freckles is a noisy piece of music best summed up as being very much in the vein of Smashing Pumpkins and Dinosaur Jnr. Full of guitar (and bass) effects and driving drums, Freckles is a good, old-fashioned and uncomplicated 5-track EP that has its roots in early 90s progressive rock. However, uncomplicated does not mean unlistenable, as what Arcs have done very well on this EP is create a distinctive dark and broody but noisy sound that stands them out from a lot of music around at the moment. The only problem with this EP is that it can be quite samey. The first two songs are more or less indeterminable, and there is one general song formula that Arcs stick to for at least four out of the five songs. ‘Fall Out of Bed’ is more math-rock and much more upbeat but even this one general follows the same pattern. The only real differences comes in ‘Morley’, which is an entirely instrumental, and also quite a dark and menacing piece, and closing (and outstanding) track ‘Something From Nothing’, which is a plethora of mournful guitars and vocals, at a slower tempo until it explodes into life in something the Cooper Temple Clause would’ve been proud of at around 1:30 and does actually make quite a fitting end to the album. It could definitively be said that Freckles is an EP that gets better as it goes along. The last two tracks, ‘Morley ‘ and ‘Something From Nothing’ are much better than the first two. What Arcs do very well is they have a fantastic sense of urgency and a talent for what makes a good guitar hook. In addition, most songs are driven along at a fair pace by an excellent rhythm section which really adds something extra to this record. Freckles does suffer a little bit from a lack of variety and originality, but overall there are enough strong songs out of the five to make for a decent, unpretentious, uncompromising record. Photobucket