Although Arms For Elephants aren’t as well known as their musical inspirations, Saosin, with the release of their debut album My Judas Scene, they might be on their way.
The album starts off with tons of energy and maintains this throughout. Although almost all of the songs are upbeat, every song brings a new sound. You won’t find yourself feeling as though you are listening to the same song over at any point in the record.
Don’t let the presence of energy convince you that there are no ballads. The album has three songs I would consider to be slow and emotional: “In Memory”, “Separated”, and “Empty Hands”. All three of these songs bring a new element to the album and allow the band to showcase their varied musical talent through a more meaningful ballad.
Perhaps my favorite musical element of Arms for Elephants is their ability to layer vocals. Two different members of the band sing/scream in their songs and they do an outstanding job at layering the two different voices within the other’s vocals. The song that shows this beyond compare is “Charlatan”, which has the vocals almost competing against each other and makes great use of different vocal sounds. All of the songs show that the two vocalists make excellent use of their talent.
While the album’s overall strength is phenomenal for a debut album, a few things stuck out to me. The first was the fact that the last two songs are slow. Putting two slow songs in a row rather than spacing them between songs is odd in itself, but putting them right at the end of the album made me wonder if there was motivation for the move or if it was a lack of experience that led to this. Another thing I found strange about the album was the fact that they ended with a sad song rather than ending it strongly like they started out.
Being relatively new to a music scene is always hard. Getting your foot in the door is half the work, and Arms for Elephants has done a good job with creating a sound that will keep themselves in the scene. Whether you have heard of the band before or not, I suggest picking up this record.