“I’ve never been this excited about anything before.” says Allen Steinberg of Arm’s Length, talking about his anticipation of the release of their forthcoming album, Everything Nice. Songs that started as acoustic skeletons in his bedroom are now fleshed out emo-rock anthems that deal with topics such as mental health (or lack thereof) and feeling dissociated from the world around you.
Only being a band for about 2 years, Arm’s Length’s emotional maturity and musical talent is comparable to their influences that got them invested in this style of music in the first place. Combining aggressive vocal performances with dramatic and melodic instrumentals, the young band of 18-20 year olds show talent that punches high above what you would expect from three guys out of the ghost town of Quinte West, Ontario.
This EP follows the release of 2019’s What’s Mine Is Yours and it’s evident that they’ve grown since then. Everything Nice provides more sonic depth and quality, as well as a refreshing songwriting approach to the emo-rock genre. The honesty of Steinberg’s lyrics shine throughout the entirety of the EP, giving a peek inside what goes on in a young Southern Ontario kid’s head in his early 20s.
Allen along with brothers Jeremy and Jeff Whyte bring a lot of new energy to a genre already filled to the brim with young talent, but Arm’s Length dares to bend the rules by incorporating heavier aspects into their music. Whether it’s a shocking tempo change, a breakdown or a guitar solo, they find a way to wrap all of these components up into a pop-song structure.
The album, produced by Anton DeLost (Seaway, Into It. Over It, Homesafe) packs a punch from start to finish and explores the dynamics the band is capable of. The introduction to the record, “Theme Song,” lets the listener experience a preview of what’s to come right off the bat with Steinberg’s AM radio-like vocals painted against reverberated open-tuned guitars. About a minute in, the song explodes into a full-band production that encapsulates the listener and foreshadows the rest of the EP. The These dynamics are explored further with tracks like “Garamond,” a 6/8 ballad that incorporates slide guitar, “No Sleep” which features hardcore-esque screams, “Gallows Humour,” a song that switches between loud and quiet sections throughout, and “Safer Skin” and “Eve (Household Name)” that zero-in on the band’s pop-punk influences.
Compared to What’s Mine Is Yours, the band agrees that this EP feels like a representation of them and what they’ve always liked about music. It feels like they’re figuring out what they want to say while executing it perfectly.
“Everything Nice is the aftermath of battling mental illnesses for many years. It’s about family dynamics that may have had a part in shaping the way you behave in relationships. It’s about forgetting everything as a means of coping. It’s about coming to terms with looking back in anger. We feel like we took everything that made our first EP good and kept that in mind on every track, while simultaneously cutting out any filler.”
Although barely even started, the future looks promising for Arm’s Length’s career, with streams rising and the band gaining attention from many of their influences.
Everything Nice is out on February 25th