Get Him Eat Him Arms Down

Sometimes when listening to a new CD I’ll be plagued with "who the hell do they sound like?” syndrome. You know they sound like something you’ve heard too much before yet one definitive answer fails to come to mind. I get an eerie vibe about such albums: is their sound just too unoriginal and overdone or is it simply familiar in a comforting sort of way? In the case of the sophomore release from Get Him Eat Him, they fall in the latter category, luckily. At first glance, the record seems to be sort of an experimental pop record, exemplified by catchy intro track "2X2” and follow-up "Diminutive,” which both seem to draw equal influences from the likes of Broken Social Scene and the Shins. But as the record progresses, it becomes clear that they draw from ’80s pop influences as well ("The Coronation Show”) and possess an almost Swedish alternative rock sound ("Exposure,” "Murphy Bed”), all without leaving Rhode Island. The album also has some slightly atonal and gutsier instrumentation during "Push and Pull” and "Present Tenses,” which makes you wonder why they aren’t taking more risks. So, what are we left with? Arms Down is an interesting album that echoes sounds of power pop rock from the ’80s and adds the snap of modern day experimentation, and as a whole ends up sounding borderline repetitive. But these cats do deserve props for the consistently solid musicianship and songwriting skills. (Absolutely Kosher)