August 8, 2022

When the smoke cleared, the very first thing I noticed was the jacked males in tank tops brandishing guitars. Then the ladies in Juggalo face paint clutching microphones. Then the blindfolded man behind the keyboard. Not lengthy after the good-looking satan with the mischievous grin raised his fist, the heavy bass drone gave option to a punishingly loud, feverishly intense monolithic onslaught.

The Armed, an experimental hardcore collective from Detroit that capabilities like a multimedia artwork undertaking however may be very a lot an actual band, placed on what is going to nearly actually be the wildest, most entertaining set at this yr’s Pitchfork Music Competition. The group descended upon the marginally smaller, extra intimate Blue Stage like a bomb Saturday afternoon and didn’t cease exploding for 45 minutes. Think about Damaged Social Scene in the event that they have been 3 times heavier and 5 occasions weirder. The sound was so harsh, the vibe so jubilant. When it comes to each audacious spectacle and sheer sonic pressure, it was probably the most unbelievable rock reveals I’ve ever witnessed.

Musically the Armed hit you with umpteen subgenres directly. Machine-gun drum fills blur along with programmed blast beats. Keyboards, bass, guitar, and laptops unite into partitions of sound so loud that the guitar-hero finger tapping is often swallowed up in noise. Singing, screaming, and shout-along hooks coexist inside battering-ram songs that pull from grindcore, industrial, D-beat, black steel, and extra. It’s sufficient of a thrill on a pure audio degree that the Armed’s previous couple of information — most not too long ago final yr’s Ultrapop — greater than get up on their very own with out the pageantry of the stay present.

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