2014 saw the live debut of Dayton, Ohio emo quartet Arms Race, a band that featured members of Kris N, The 1984 Draft, and Giant Defiant, as well as former members of In The Black Hearts of Men. They recorded the EP with Hawthorne Heights guitarist Micah Carli in July 2014 at his Popside Recordings studio in Troy, Ohio, who also lended some guitar trickery to the EP.
The band, whose predominant influences include mid-90s alt-rock, grunge and emo, as well as new heroes of the emo revival set, haven’t yet physically released the EP, but are sharing it via Soundcloud and playing regional shows and building a loyal local fanbase.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with guitarist vocalist Kris Neises, who’s other band Kris N released the criminally underlooked Thankful Parade via Poptek Records in late 2013, to discuss his favorite records of the year. This is what caught his attention.
2014 felt a lot like 1999 for me. Some of my favorite bands from my teen years released new records and they were as great as they ever were. I really love the resurgence of the 90’s emo sound. So much so that I started my own 90’s emo-influenced band in 2014 called Arms Race. We wrote and recorded an EP available currently to stream on Soundcloud.
Here’s my list:
10. Dads, I’ll Be The Tornado
Ghettoblaster’s own Tim Anderl turned me onto this band early this year, and I couldn’t get enough. These guys pack a lot of power and emotion for a two-piece.
9. Beyoncé, Beyoncé
2014 also marks the year I got married to my best friend and everlasting muse, Lindsey N. Remember seeing Beyoncé in Cincinnati, Lindsey? Love you.
8. Swearing at Motorist, While Laughing, The Joker Tells The Truth
This record lived up to the hype and Dave Doughman is forever my spirit animal. Dave, I’m still waiting on my phone call.
7. Cheap Girls, Famous Graves
Joe from the 1984 Draft passed me this disc in the summer and the songs are so catchy that they are still stuck in my head in December.
6. Owls, Two
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Tim Kinsella super fan. When I heard Owls had finally recorded a follow up to their 2001 self-titled masterpiece I had to be first in line to get this one.
5. Water Liars, s/t
These dudes can’t miss. They could fart into a microphone for 45 minutes and I would probably still love it.
4. The Jazz June. After the Earthquake
My love affair with this band started in 1999 with Breakdance Suburbia. Somehow 15 years later they still rock my face off.
3. Braid, No Coast
One of my all-time favorite bands and No Coast ranks up there with Frames and Canvas and Lucky To Be Alive.
2. Joyce Manor, Never Hungover Again
Stuck in your head for days and days and days.
1. Pianos Become the Teeth, Keep You
My favorite records are always those that I have to hear from start to finish and absolutely can’t skip any songs. Keep You is one of those records. This CD could not kill any harder.
(Check out the Arms Race EP here: https://soundcloud.com/arms-race-dayton-ohio.)