18 March 2013
by Tom Doyle
Punk isn’t dead, but it is very self-conscious these days. Yet, if you are prepared to seek them out, there are plenty of bands doing it the right way: Write some songs. Get in the van. Play some shows Get in the van again. Record some songs. Live your life. Write more songs. Make the songs mean something. Make them honest. Make them count.
The Arteries are that band, the Swansea boys have built a great live reputation and have grown from the ground up, slow and steady, no fucking about. Little surprise then that from the discordant opening seconds of their new Restless EP to its very final moments, the five-piece feel focussed and bristling with the piss and vinegar we have come to expect from them.
A follow up to their superb 2010 album, Dead Sea, this 6-track blast of tuneful yet embittered punk rock was recorded direct on to tape and the band have succeeded in capturing the urgency of their raw live show wonderfully. Opener ’Bleed Away’ in particular is two and a half minutes of fists in the air bliss guaranteed to raise the pulse of fans of the likes of Bangers, Gnarwolves and Great Cynics.’Grow Up’, with its “there’s no hope when you’re running away” refrain, sums up the atmosphere of a record which manages to feel thoroughly pissed off without ever succumbing to boring angry-young-man tropes.
Elsewhere, ‘Spare-Rib’ rattles along with gleeful abandon, done and dusted in under two minutes but stuffed with big, rasping hooks pushed out of the speakers with complete and undeniable conviction. When they do decide to get a bit off-kilter, as they do with ’Somebody to Blame’, they lose none of their laser guided passion or ear for a fine chorus and demonstrate an ability to shift gears which eludes so many bands ploughing a similar furrow.
If there was any justice in the world, The Arteries would be a bigger, more widely loved band but in truth they probably don’t give a fuck, content to keep doing what they do to people who really care about it. For those who do get it, this is a thoroughly enjoyable listen that will do nothing other than cement pre-existing fandom. If you’re into good, honest punk rock which just happens to be homegrown, then you could do a lot, lot worse than this genuinely cracking little record.
Sounds Like:: Bangers, Banner Pilot, The Flatliners
Standout Tracks: Bleed Away, Spare-Ribs, Die Nultte