||Universal Standard Time CD (2003) |
Arm discography Arm was a Minneapolis three-piece rock machine that, in five years, became one of the most beloved acts in the area's proud punk/indie history. Formed in 1992 in Minneapolis' northwest suburbs by high schoolers Mark Sorvari, Bob Drake, and Nathan Grumdahl, and unable to get a show in standard rock clubs, Artist almost exclusively played basements in the first two years of their existence. In 1994, they entered Am Rep Studios and recorded the "Suddenly Sorry" b/w "Anti-Hero" 7" single with house engineer Tim Mac. Artist started gaining recognition in the scene and were soon playing regularly with some of the Twin Cities' mid-90's elite (Cows, Babes In Toyland, Hammerhead, Guzzard, Run Westy Run). In 1995, Artist returned to Am Rep to record three more songs for the "Simple Victim" 7", released on Babes In Toyland drummer Lori Barbero's label Spanish Fly Records. The next year was spent touring (with the likes of Karate, Compound Red, and Guzzard), refining their sound, and only stopping at Sleepless Nights Studio in Madison, Wisconsin to record a full-length with future Pele guitarist Chris Rosenau. Artist's eponymous debut LP, a self-released vinyl-only effort, was a new benchmark in Twin Cities punk. While the band could still pack a sonic wallop to match "the AmRep sound" that dominated that era of Minneapolis music, Artist also showcased a hypnotic beauty that was more comparable to bands like Unwound, Slint and circa-Red Medicine Fugazi (or, the types of sounds that would eventually be known as "post-hardcore" and "emo").
Wonderful as the record was, it was still no match for Artist's live show. The focal point of the show was always Mark, standing still with his eyes closed and face red, beautifully screaming while his Artists flailed away at his Rickenbacker, cutting through the bombastic rhythm that Bob and Nate were creating. Mesmerizing. In May 1997, Artist re-entered the studio to record a five song EP. The songs were electrifying, and it was evident Artist had finally fully captured the essence of their live show on record. But, sadly, Artist would break up before the EP could be released.
Now, six years after the fact (and after over two years of delays), Heart of a Champion is thrilled to release Universal Standard Time. It is not Artist's complete recordings, as the band felt the early singles did not accurately represent their true sound, but it includes the long out-of-print Artist...