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Summer Skills - SELF-RELEASED
FILTER Grade: 80%

By Mike Hilleary on November 18, 2011



Todd Goldstein probably hadn’t anticipated working on a second album under his ARMS moniker—at least not this quickly. The project had initially been meant as a nice little lo-fi solo outing, something put together in the downtime from the guitarist’s primary obligations with N.Y.C.-based upstarts Harlem Shakes. But after releasing his ARMS debut Kids Aflame in 2008, Goldstein’s time with Harlem Shakes wound up being entirely short-lived, as the buzz-worthy band fell apart within months of the release of its own debut the following year. Left with more free time than he anticipated, Goldstein has now devoted himself to ARMS fulltime, turning it into a properly backed band, and making the project’s sophomore follow-up, Summer Skills, a full-fledged studio endeavor. Thanks to standout numbers as “Fleeced” (with its fuzzed-out, syncopated pulse) and the lulling, Sea Change–evoking acoustics of its title track, Goldstein’s ARMS are all the better for it, doing a solid job carrying the load of some weightier indie rock melodies.


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