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Arctic Death - Self Titled

Arctic Death

Arctic Death


Quirky yet serious indie-pop songs are not something you might expect from a band called Arctic Death, but this local duo hailing from East Aurora know how to construct them. The band, consisting of singer/bassist John Crook and guitarist Steven Floyd, formed in 2009 with an existentialist attitude toward music. They just wanted to be a vessel for the creation of music.

Simplicity is the overriding aspect of their music. The songs on their latest, self-titled EP usually consist of over-driven guitar chords and tinkering little riffs, which are joined by rock-and-roll drums that wax and wane. It’s like the White Stripes if they were still playing bars and had a steadier drummer. There isn’t a lot going on here, but that’s one of the things that makes these tracks enjoyable. Crook’s vocal rhythms are always interesting and he sings his self-deprecating lyrics honestly. Crook’s voice is reminiscent of the late Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse pumped up on some sort of energy juice. Crook’s lyrics are a little more straightforward, though, with lines like “I need another drink if you’re asking my opinion/just add it to the list of my bad decisions,” from the opening track, “The Art.” The titles of their songs are short and to the point just like the songs themselves.

None of the tracks are longer than three minutes, yet they feel complete and sometimes even build upon several ideas. “Glory”—the longest song on the five song EP, clocking in at two minutes and 30 seconds—begins with a sorrowful guitar rhythm that could at first be interpreted as a ballad but soon takes a surf rock turn as the drums click in and suddenly drive the song forward. With a history that spans only the last six months, the band has their sound surprisingly nailed down. All that’s left now for the duo is to pay their dues and hope that someone outside of Buffalo notices the strange and catchy coolness of their music.

cory perla

Arctic Death’s self titled album will be released on Saturday, August 28, when the band plays Mohawk Place with support from Real People, Electric Crowd Control, and Catamaran. The record will be released exclusively in digital format and will be completely free on their website,

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