Over the last 12 years, mysterious hardcore collective the Armed have fascinated and confounded with some of the wildest albums, live shows and videos in heavy music. And they've done so without ever officially announcing the identity of the band members — until now. Today (February 4th), the Armed announced their fourth full-length, ULTRAPOP, for an April 16th release via Sargent House, and in doing so, they've finally revealed their lineup: Jonni Randall (vocals, bass), Chris Slorach (vocals, guitar), Dan Greene (guitar, vocals), Adam Vallely (guitar, vocals), Dan Stolarski (guitar, vocals), Clark Huge (synthesizers), Urian Hackney (drums), Cara Drolshagen (vocals) and, of course, Converge's ubiquitous drummer, Ben Koller. Additionally, the album features contributions from Mark Lanegan and Queens of the Stone Age's Troy Van Leeuwen.
Today also sees the premiere of ULTRAPOP's lead single, "ALL FUTURES" and its glorious live music video. Shot on a soundstage made up to look like a glitzy old-school variety show, the clip captures eight of the Armed's aforementioned members in captivating action. Watch and listen above.
Greene commented of the album: "Crafting vital art means presenting the audience with new and intriguing tensions — sonically, visually, conceptually. Over time and through use, those tensions become less novel and effective — and they become expectations. The concept of "subgenre" becomes almost the antithesis of vitality in art — itself a fetishization of expectation. ULTRAPOP seeks, in earnest, to create a truly new listener experience. It is an open rebellion against the culture of expectation in 'heavy' music. It is a joyous, genderless, post-nihilist, anti-punk, razor-focused take on creating the most intense listener experience possible. It's the harshest, most beautiful, most hideous thing we could make."