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Chicago punks The Arrivals help define genre



“Simple Pleasures in America” was the best song of 2010 and, chances are, you’ve never heard it. The band responsible for the song is a Chicago outfit known as The Arrivals.

Born in the mid-nineties Chicago punk explosion, The Arrivals, had to carve a niche for themselves in a scene that wasn’t quite prepared for them. “We got put on a lot of ska shows,” said frontman Dave Marriman, “no one really knew what to do with us. People always seemed to like us but we always stood out on what ever show we were playing.”

The Arrivals' sound is a seamless mixture of the brash recklessness of 80’s hardcore with the punky fizz and bounce of 80’s new wave. An odd pairing indeed, but The Arrivals helped champion the sound. “We were too hard for pop-punk” claimed Merriman, “and too pop for hardcore”. This well-crafted yet energetic brand of punk was difficult for many to categorize until another Midwestern band of the same ilk, Dillinger Four, released the album that defined this new sound; Midwestern Songs of the Americas.

With the release of “Midwestern Songs”, the punk scene had a reference point for the new hybrid sound. “Our sound has changed a lot since the early years” explained Merriman, “but I’m always surprised at how much of our core sound has stayed the same when I go back and listen to our first album.”

Despite subtle sonic alterations, the band soldiered in their ever-growing scene, the pinnacle of which being The Fest held every Halloween in Gainsville, Florida. “It’s always great to see and meet a lot of like-minded people”, said Merriman. “We made a lot of friends from across the country at The Fest. It’s nice to know that there are tons of people who have all been doing the same thing for years who have finally found each other.”

THE ARRIVALS: what the fuck is going on here?
  • THE ARRIVALS: what the fuck is going on here?

The band’s profile received a shot in the arm in the last few years with the addition of Patrick “Paddy” Costello on bass. Costello, beloved for his work in Dillinger Four, was a rallying point for the scene. Costello recorded with the band for their past two albums; 2007’s Marvels of Industry and 2010’s Volatile Molotov.

While many similar bands cite The Arrivals as an influence, Merriman has to dig back deeper to find his influences. “The Pixies were one of my biggest influences” he exclaimed, “they had such an impact on my guitar playing. They taught me to play around and through chords instead of simply playing over them. We also take a huge que from bands like Superchunk, The Misfits and The Ramones as well as huge bands like The Clash and The Who. Elvis Costello (no relation to Paddy Costello) was always a huge influence as well, and still is. I try to rip him off as much as possible.”

With Dillinger Four fairly dormant, Costello (Paddy, not Elvis) was free to leave the confines of Minneapolis to go on tour as an Arrival. The band, which is playing several festivals as well as clubs and bars across the country, is looking forward to their first show in Indianapolis in years. Their stop in Indianapolis on Thursday brings them to the sometimes-punk-bar Rock Lobster with local punx The Classless.

The Arrivals w/ The Classless
June 9th @ Rock Lobster
9 PM


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