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Arms Down

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Album Review

With a brand of indie rock that sounds like something the Dismemberment Plan or Ted Leo would play if they decided to start incorporating a keyboard in their music, Providence, RI's Get Him Eat Him do their best to engage and entertain their audience throughout the entirety of their 13-track, 37-minute sophomore album, Arms Down. With warm vocals and melodies that stay catchy no matter how quirky they become, the band does a good job of staying down-to-earth while still moving away from simple three-chord progressions and rhythms. With lyrics that range from hipster-poetic ("Set up, you shot me up/Shot bullets and bows/Your makeup and clothes/Possession imposed/Prosaic and cold," Matt LeMay sings in the angular "C.B.T.") to clichéd ("I wanted your body/I wanted you on me/You tempt and you taunt me" in the jilted-lover ode "Murphy Bed"), Get Him Eat Him play good-natured, summery pop songs that manage to retain a sense of optimism and youth even when the pieces themselves are sad or deluded. Perhaps this is because the group's style, no matter how far into the off-kilter the band ventures, is firmly rooted in hooky vocal lines and major keys and a kind of lighthearted Barenaked Ladies sensibility that sticks to the blood and guts of the songs. Arms Down is the kind of album that stays with you even if every track isn't in itself noteworthy — which isn't to say that there aren't a few really fantastic ones here, "2 x 2," "Patronage," "Diminutive," and the aforementioned "C.B.T.," for example — the kind of album that can be put on repeat without sounding repetitive, a great warm-weather record that has enough lasting power to make it something worth listening to for years to come.


Formed: 2004 in Providence, RI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Formed in early 2004 in Providence, RI, it didn't take very long for the five-man group Get Him Eat Him to find a label. Students at Brown University, singer and guitarist (and music journalist on the sly) Matt LeMay, bassist Joe Posner, guitarist Jason Sigal, keyboardist Raf Spielman, and drummer Jeff Wood impressed Absolutely Kosher with their brand of quirky, Ted Leo-meets-the New Pornographers-meets-the Wrens indie rock. In 2005 their debut, Geography Cones, was released and was followed by a...
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Arms Down, Get Him Eat Him
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