crazyarmCRAZY ARM – ‘The Southern Wild’
For this largely unplugged release, Plymouth Punks Crazy Arm have listened to their fans and built on the rounds of rapturous reception for their acoustic tours over the last two years.  Where its predecessor and Headwarmer fave Union City Breath was loaded with guitar driven punk-rock, The Southern Wild is steeped in the rich history of English, Irish and American country, folk and bluegrass.  Retaining the raw and impassioned alt-punk snarl of frontman Darren Johns alongside Vicky Butterfield’s classic country lilt, The Arm are asserting a bold tip towards a rustic Westcountry refrain that’s as dicey as it is healthy, ambitious and admirable.  Played out through their familiar musicianship and melodrama, they’re attempting to highlight the oft-overlooked cultural similarities across genres, so generally delivered in wildly stylistic extremes.  Which sends them down the path marked distinct and divergent; a direction altogether avoided by those invariable bands insistant on repetition and replication.  So whether its the rootsy ‘Rememberance’ with John’s sounding more traditional than ever, or the banjo twang of ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ and ‘Fossils’, there’s alot to endear fans of The Handsome Family, Woody Guthrie and Emmylou Harris.  While those who crave a knowing nod to the punkier undertones of Murder By Death and Chuck Ragan will find solice in the hip-shaking, hammond-hued ‘County Jaws’ and ‘Roasting River’.  By the time brooding closer ‘Black Canyon’ adds the dark dust we’d associate with Johnny Cash’, we’re left with a warmer feeling inside than expected, which for Crazy Arm means job done.  Not for the purists this one, more for the open minded rockers out there.  A mature actuality of ambition and rich heritage – which is alright by us.  (7)



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