First offering from this hard rocking Chicago band sets them well apart from their hometown’s two dominant music scenes — alt-country and post-rock — and instead sees them drawing heavily on Foo Fighters and Oasis for inspiration. So much so, in fact, that this five-track EP has trouble standing up on its own, without leaning heavily on its inspirations.
First track out, “Let’s Go Again,” is the definitive high point on here, a slab of scruffy Foo Fighting that actually works. “Spitfire” is another Foo moment, and a pretty decent one at that. “If It’s Too Late” is pretty standard-fare power balladry that fails miserably, not least vocally. Johnny Best does a nice impersonation of Dave Grohl on the harder tracks, but on this one his voice just doesn’t cut it. “Coming Along” and “While We’re Young” look to Oasis for inspiration, the latter one in a slightly space-y, psych-rock sort of way. Fair enough, but nothing to get too excited about.
Still, Arbo have a good attitude and a healthy, confident air about them. A decent first release, but their next ones need to show a willingness to step out from the shadows cast by their musical heroes.