7th Arsenal

Written by on June 24, 2010 in June 24, 2010, Live Reviews - Comments Off on 7th Arsenal

The Galaxy, Santa Ana
May 28, 2010

Photos by Laura Kirazian

7th ArsenalHailing from Westminster, 7th Arsenal is a band that, despite their young age, has obviously been influenced by the early days of punk. They’ve also being inspired by the early waves of heavy metal. Actually, to be more specific, they have been inspired by genres of everything “fast and furious.: You can’t label them punk, nor label them metal. But, somehow, they found a way to fuse this combination together, and not sound contrived.

To a half-filled Galaxy venue, the band kicked off with Broken Promises, one of the songs from their 10-track self-titled CD. From that song on, they never let up. The band knows how to balance the set, sometimes stepping back a few notches from the hard-charging pace of their music [but never straying far], and then getting right back into the mayhem. Bottom line, whether full-on ferocious, or put into neutral, 7th Arsenal was musically brutal.

Pacing is important in any bands set, and it was impressive to note, the band had a firm grasp on this, despite being together a little more than a year. Perhaps it just comes instinctively to them.

Despite their aggressive approach, melody was never absent. I’ve Lost Control,, for example, had the crowd singing along, with its catchy chorus. “Catchy” is tough to pull off-it is easy to stray too far into pop. But, somehow, they found a way to keep it aggressive.

As for musicianship, for the most part, they had it down pat. Bassist Conrad Gillenwater knows his chops, and formed a solid rhythmic section with the maniacal Jared Venard, on drums.

Jojo Trujillo is fun to watch on stage. His intensity combined with the obvious fact he is having fun on stage, really radiated onto the crowd.

Trujillo trades off on vocals with guitarist, Nick Hebert, who covers the death-metal growls.

7th Arsenal7th ArsenalThe one problem I have with the band, is lead vocalist Dani Mitchell. Since Jojo and Nick trade off, there seems to be no need for her. Dani doesn’t project the confidence that is vital for a front-person. She often times appeared bored, and nervous. Considering the comfort factor the rest of the band had on stage, this is a distraction. Mitchell needs to be more in-command. Her “mall-teen” persona doesn’t fit in with the bands rough-and-tumble energy. In all fairness, perhaps “the boys” want to add an angelic touch to the band, as a counter-balance to their aggressive sound. Mitchell must come off a little tougher, a lot tougher actually. She needs to “own” the stage, and show the audience who is in charge.

The band also needs to tighten up a bit. Rough around the edges, this is something easily fixed as time goes on. Yes, the band is punk-metal, but it still needs to sound better rehearsed. Their loyal fans seemed to accept the band regardless. But, if 7th Arsenal is to take the next step, some of this critique should be noted. They appear to have a decent grip on what it will take, and cleaning up the rough spots will merely benefit them in the long run. That aside, 7th Arsenal could easily fit into today’s rock world.

I see a band that is headed in the right direction, and could easily go on to bigger, and better things.