E.P. Review: 'Psalms', Arbes
Venturing deep into the Birkenstock suburb of Collingwood, where the cigarettes are rolled and the beers are brewed in a small shed, Figaro journeyed to the notorious Collingwood music venue, The Gasometer, to witness the launch of up and coming Melbournian trio ‘Arbes' sophomore EP.
Titled Psalms, you’d be mistaken to think the EP was loaded with tracks of worship and religion, the title and many of the lyrics written by vocalist Jess Zanoni, serves as a testament to the young bands ability to intertwine symbolism and metaphors in their music, not only painting the listener a picture, but making them feel like they’re actually in it.
Opening track Sintra, presumably inspired by the sights seen on foothills of the Portuguese Sintra Mountains does exactly this. The bands incredible storytelling is exhibited from the get-go, opening with an enchanting guitar riff and stripped back drumbeat, Sintra immediately takes you to a foreign land, where you’re joined by a flurry of encrypted lyrics that will hit you in the feels and keep on swinging.
Figaro’s pick from this stellar EP comes in the form of ultimate summer vibes track, ‘Sun on my back.’ An absolute winner from the first guitar strum, the track will have an almost hypnotic (funky fresh) effect on you, it casts away all your feelings of regret in buying $22 jugs at Workshop with pleasant, rolling waves of psychedelic guitar riffs and cool gentle drum beats; much like the sensation of blissfully bullshitting your way a day of work on Friday and coming out the other side unscathed with the sun on your back and the weekend at your feet.
Psalms is more than just an EP that makes you listen; it’s riddled with tracks that take you on a journey that explores themes of love, heartbreak, and the personal growth that comes with working through the hardships, broadening your horizons. Despite ‘Psalms’ being only the trio’s second release together, the lyrics and composition of the accompanying music seem measured, harmonic, well exercised - seasoned. Perhaps this is due to band members Sam Pannifex and Jess Zanoni working together earlier in the now defunct ‘Native City’ project, but the group certainly give the listener an EP that has a good share of polished musical narrative and raw, exciting and perhaps at times unrefined, potential; something to look forward to in further work, and something to admire.
Whilst Arbes’ recorded material is something to marvel at, it would be unfair not to mention their sensational live set in this review. Joined by an additional ‘Arbe’ for their show at the Gasometer, the band who are barely out of their teens played like they had been doing it for decades. Part-time Greek and full time champion, Anita Agathangelou, had us all at team Figaro in awe with her skill on the drum kit. Forming the perfect on stage amenity with flamboyant lead guitarist Sam Pannifex, pleasant vocalist Jess Zanoni and the stand-in, keyboard wizard, ‘occasional Arbe’ Leo Palmer, whose vibrant keys added another level to the emerging ‘Arbes’ sound which is starting to find its feet with their second production.
Psalms got two very big thumbs up from Figaro, but it was also to our delight that they had also made an impression with a local, lurking ‘Gaso’ regular who was more than happy to deliver a far more meaningful testament determining that the young Arbes were “shit hot!”.
Catch Arbes at their next gig on the 22nd December at the Workers Club.