Attending one of the Armed's shows has meant reckoning with a giant swamp man lugging a card table through the pit. The Detroit-based heavy music brigade got Tommy Wiseau for a music video; their audition tape to become the new lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots featured a shocking amount of hammered dulcimer. When they put out a song called "FT. FRANK TURNER," the UK singer-songwriter was left wondering how the band got its hands on his unreleased and uncleared vocals.
Michigan's anonymous hardcore pack The Armed have been smart enough to not bother stuffing such cliche quotes in their interviews, instead opting for much more elusive and pranksterish fan-teasing, but by any measures, ULTRAPOP is far ahead in the running to be both the heaviest and the most melodic album of the year. Newcomers to The Armed will likely have a mixed time penetrating their multiple walls of sound. Some tracks, like "AN ITERATION" and "BAD SELECTION" put the melody right in front of you, with "ALL FUTURES" boasting a chorus as catchy as punk music gets.