Reviews: Armen Firman – Dressed For War (EP)

Melbourne-based rock band Armen Firman are tough to define. A self-described explosion of lush arrangement and electronica-tinged post-indie rock, their tone ends up sounding like nothing more than a watered down HIM. I saw them years ago supporting god-knows-who and was unimpressed by their performance. They played their instruments with great proficiency and shook their hair around as all good rockers should, but their act was incomplete. The missing piece? Songs. They were, technically, playing songs – they just weren’t very good. They left no impression on the audience and the band was forgotten as soon as they left the stage. In an industry driven by recognition, that is a massive criticism. Armen Firman could be a great band if they wrote better, more memorable songs. They just… haven’t.

Their second EP, entitled Dressed For War, features four new tracks: Dressed For War, Common Man, The Swallow and Heartbreaker (no, sadly, not a Led Zeppelin cover). The production is actually fantastic and the performances are all excellent, particularly guitar and vocals. The songs are all, unfortunately, pretty bland and boring. Each track is indistinguishable, dull indie rock with dark atmospherics and ridiculously generic lyrics. The band’s lack of personality and originality really brings them down, and if their press release is right and they’ve been doing this for seven years perhaps these five Melbourne boys should start thinking about a career change.

review by Ben Vernel

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