It’s been a pleasant summer so far, don’t you think? Warm and sunny for most of the time… until that breeze whips up catching our attention, and we look up and see those low black storm clouds rolling overhead. Then we hear the thunder in the distance, dark and ominous. Dream of The Endless by The Arboretum does the same job. Something forbidding but crackling with electrical energy is about to roll our way. As the song’s opening of a dirty great bass line rolls by it evokes the memory of Muse’s finest moments, and I wonder if I’ve accidentally stumbled on the wrong band. But then the shimmering synth line starts juddering – Phew! It is The Arboretum after all! That huge bass line deserves whopping drums to match and the band don’t disappoint, quickly adding a thunderous, unforgiving pounding. Hard, razor-sharp guitars start up, that blow through the music like a storm wind, whipping and slashing across the mix. Wisely, these drop out for the arrival of the first vocals, which are so similar to John Lydon’s for PIL that it’s impossible not to imagine his spirit leaning over the singer as they sang the melody.
It looks as though those thunder clouds are carrying the four horsemen of the apocalypse: “Those that sleep and those that dream / The end of the beginning / The beginning of the end.” This song is exciting, noisy and driving. The Arboretum’s usual darkness seems to have given way slightly to something else; something less gothic, more red, more furious, more scorching. Appropriately, this is confirmed with the drums taking on a double time hardcore beat towards the end and the guitars collapse into some ferocious shredding that any heavy metal band would be proud of. The music builds to a multi-layered roar that is hard to top, so it… doesn’t.
The song cuts off, dead. A twisted end for a twisted song by a twisted band. It’s accompanied on YouTube with an endless zoom into an unnerving, sinister sci-fi city scape that looks as though it’s AI generated and ready to bend your head. Initially this seems an odd choice for a summer song, but it’s executed with great expertise and heart, and deserves to drift over beer gardens at that moment in the evening when the sun goes down, the breeze stiffens, and your t-shirt suddenly feels extremely thin, and you know that, for some it’s time to go home, and for some it’s going to get properly messy.
By: Eastside Jimmy