"Idiots," Nima Teranchi yowls on Arrows of Love's new single "Signal (Redux Version)." "They've gone and ruined it for the rest of us." You don't have to read that as a statement on British society from an east London-bred punk collective, but it might help if you do. The five-piece, centered around Teranchi and bassist/vocalist Nuha Ruby Ra, have been spitting out caustic and frenetic missives for the past half-decade, building a reputation as a manic live act with a sardonic twist. (Their first album was called Everything's Fucked). Suddenly, on both sides of the Atlantic, the sarcastic brutality has started to click. They know it, too. "The short name of the album is PRODUCT," they wrote on their Pledge Music page for their forthcoming second LP. "It means we can cut right to the chase and tell people to 'BUY OUR PRODUCT.' Which is very satisfying. But the long title is PRODUCT: Your Soundtrack To The Impending Societal Collapse[...] as cheery as you could wish for from our sunny souls."
"Signal (Redux Version)," premiering on Noisey today, is essentially a reflex action. In an email to Noisey, Teranchi explains that the song came about during a tour with Californian band Meatbodies. "I'd stream out whatever lyrics came out naturally, and some stuck," he writes. "On the downside, some of my favourite lyrics might be lost forever. I hope someone appreciated them at the time." That was 2015—Trump was needlessly filling the 24-hour news cycle in the US and the Conservatives had just won a majority. The urgent need to avoid catastrophe—the one that we wake up and think about every day now—was rising. "The times we've asked your attention / I've counted about 20,000," Teranchi sings. "Maybe you thought we were joking / I do not believe you thought we were joking."
PRODUCT was produced by Nigel Godrich prodigy Mikko Gordon and mastered by Shellac's Bob Weston. It's a smart combination of behind-the-desk talent for a band who fly off into feedback and fallout without letting the trips flatten their urgency. Recent tours supporting The Fall and Mike Watt (Minutemen, The Stooges) are good jumping-off points too. Between Ra's guttural bass and Teranchi's scathing delivery, McLusky and Future of the Left jump out as immediate comparisons. But there's a transatlantic sensibility—beyond the lyrics—that speaks to the New York punk and Midwestern oddness as much as London sludge.
Listen to the "Signal (Redux Version)" below. You can pre-order PRODUCT right here.
Alex Robert Ross is on Twitter.