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A.R.E. Weapons - A.R.E. Weapons (Rough Trade)

This whole electroclash thing has thrown up a whole lot of strange specimens. A.R.E. Weapons are one such, three punk noiseniks with a taste for synths, favouring the time when such sounds were new and dangerous, the likes of Suicide and Gary Numan. Their debut album is an eclectic, crazy and often juvenile collection with its tales of drug-use and general silliness.

There are a lot of varied and often very obscure sounds in this, 'Don't be scared' is almost a carbon copy of Mussolini Headkick's 'Under the eye', 'Strange dust' borrows from Beck, while 'Changes' lifts a chunk straight out of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult's 'Sex on wheels' and 'A.R.E.' is Suicide with guitars. Basically, A.R.E. Weapons are like Blink 182 with imagination and considerably more intelligence, if not exactly original . Instead of ploughing the same furrow over and over, they smash and grab bits of everything they hear, which is much more punk rock. As they say in 'A.R.E.' - "gimme everything".

Fun, noisy, experimental to the point of chaos and very cool, A.R.E. Weapons are worth checking out if you're into electro, industrial, indie or punk, and probably even if you aren't.

Donnacha DeLong

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