Armada has released their official video, Callanwolde, the first off of the album "Paper Ghosts". Power in every sense is a form of raw energy and that is exactly what Armada brings to the table. Our dark romance is fueled with gritty guitar/vocals from front man Cody Paige and a crashing drum (Eddie Core) and bass (Jeremy Gruber) line that complements the torrential downpour. Oliver Bukowsky's simplistic cinematography brought the Armada's love torchered lyrics to life.
Here's the Youtube video link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-sWX2TvvOo.
"Paper Ghosts" is the full-length debut release from LA-based indie rock trio, Armada. Cody Page (lead vocals/guitar), Eddie Core (drums) and Jeremy Gruber (bass/keyboards) seamlessly blend formal education with ragged inspirational bursts and backgrounds in rock, folk, and a bit of jazz. The result is a California masterpiece founded on truthfulness and a special brand of rock & roll urgency.
Review of Armada’s “Paper Ghost” CD by Ceci Redmann Whitehurst
It is rare for me to like every song on an album, especially the first time listening to it. But this was my experience with the ten tracks on Armada’s “Paper Ghost” CD a few days ago. I’ve since been listening to this great indie rock band from Los Angeles in the car, at work, and at home. I am captivated by the vocals of Cody Page. His voice ranges from plaintive (without sounding too whiney) in “Love You” to ominous, and vengeful in Callonwolde. Page’s guitar playing is no less impressive in range and musicality (is that a word? I think so…). The drumming of Eddie Core is rock solid with high energy and awesome rhythm. Jeremy Gruber plays bass with powerful and interesting progressions. The harmonies are fantastic and imaginative. In a nutshell the band is talented and tight. This is the kind of music FM Rock stations used to play - damn good music!
Armada’s Facebook page declares “Indie rock for thinkers and dancers”.
They got THAT right! It’s hard to sit or stand still while listening to the CD. And it’s hard to not think about the lyrics. “Ghost of Illinois?” “Bruises for breakfast?”…
Being human by nature, I must compare Armada to other bands. They have been compared to Wilco, Spoon, Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, and the Black Keys, among others. I also hear strains of Bush, Led Zeppelin, System of a Down, The Black Crowes, The Cramps, David Bowie, and even Neil Finn on “Pick Up the Pieces”. The lyrics vary from clever and meaningful, poetic, insightful, painfully honest, scary, to just plain intriguing.
Here are a few observations I noted about specific songs:
“Ghost of Illinois” - catchy beat, intro vocals have a retro feel with nice phrasing. Driving guitar, energetic. Memorable lines such as “being pulled up by the gravity that hovers over you.”
“Young Man” - drums remind me of Adam and the Ants. Lyrics are intriguing, clever. Catchy, pleasing vocals. Slows down, then a nice solo - guitar sounding like mandolin/balalaika - gypsy music with some psychedelic riffs. Some good advice to young and old alike: “You need to run before you fly.”
“Callanwolde” - vocals are expressive-hurt, pain, revenge, steely determination. Great guitar riffs. Interesting, fast paced bass lines. Drums accent the guitar and vocals very nicely. Note: Glad none of my ex-boyfriends had a tiger and a vendetta.
“Nevada” - slows down. Probably my favorite song on the CD. Sparse instrumentation at first, with focus on vocals. Great drums-nice rim shots (I’m no drummer, but I THINK those are rim shots) … Led-Zeppelin influence, bluesy. Tight harmonies. Slide guitar has got a nice groove and a lot of soul. I feel their pain.
“Beacon St” - one of my favorites, especially the lyrics: “words they paralyze,” “I can’t believe it when I turn around and I see it, after all this time…your ghost between the sheets,” “Technicolor shadows start to creep all over me.”
“Badge & Gun” - fast paced, driving guitars and solid drums, with those appealing evocative vocals and rich harmonies. Descriptive imagery paints a picture. Tells a story, but leaves questions for you to ponder.
“Up, Out”- dark, but makes me smile. A little disturbing? Lines like: “justice likes to listen to the voices in your head…put the chainsaw back in Texas,” “exclusive blues,” “put this shit to bed.” I’d really like to know more about what inspired THAT song!!
“Pick Up the Pieces”- more great imagery with lyrics such as “that girl’s a dancer and she’s stomping on your heart.” Nice guitar riffs, usual rock steady bass and drums. Drums like a heartbeat. Bittersweet melancholic parts with just vocals and guitar
“Renaissance” -nice slide guitar. Bluesy. Powerful. Great drums.
“Love You” - opens with Guitar and vocals. Slow, sad…could easily make me cry, if I was having one of those days when I cry easily. Evokes remorse, regret, agony, deep love. Good rock ‘n roll moan. Atmospheric ending. More memorable lines:
“I’ve been listening so long to these dark little songs that control me”.
“Don’t want to waste no more time killing us slowly” (OUCH!)
One of the lines from “Beacon St” is “There’ll be no forgetting you”. I feel the same about Armada’s “Paper Ghost” CD and hope these talented indie rockers keep creating such awesome, high quality music.
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