Arno De Cea & The Clockwork Wizards – Retro Futurisme Volume 1 LP
I believe this makes Arno the only back-to-back Gremmy winner, and while the evolution since last year’s Flash Freezing the Sun may seem minimal, I recently gave a listen to their debut “Surf It Up” (which I loved at the time) and I’m amazed how far this sound has come. While past Arno records have needed some time before favorite songs emerged from the apocalyptic din, I think this is some of their most instantly recognizable and memorable writing yet, thanks to a little more restraint. Perhaps my favorite song is “Rupture Continuum Espace Temps”, which lets off the accelerator to allow for a marching, hulking anthem.
The sound that Arno De Cea & the Clockwork Wizards have workshopped over the years is worthy enough — I don’t know any bands that within surf/instro that summon such an apocalyptic-sized panic.. But taming that frenzy into memorable tunes makes them impossible to deny, and frankly I’m surprised that their renown remains mostly within this niche.