Exclusive Review: A Life In Arm’s Reach – Vintage Postcards

Artist: A Life In Arm’s Reach
Album: Vintage Postcards
Rating: 10/10

Track List:
1. Delorean Repair Shop
2. Apathy Fight Song
3. Supernatural Activity
4. Vintage Postcards from Germany
5. In My World
6. Fault, Lies, and You
7. The Darkness
8. Mixtapes for Josephene (ft. Mercedes Ann)
9. One Small Step
10. Final Drive (Roll Credits)

Being that I’m a native of Texas, I take pride in knowing that bands in the TX scene are still breaking out, breaking the mold and really making a difference. Dallas’ A Life In Arm’s Reach is a band that I’ve been working with since their inception and I will be the first to tell you, they are every bit worth your time. For nostalgia’s sake, they’ve created a sound that blends 00’s pop-punk and brings in a more modern vibe. They’ve shared the stage with bands like Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, Slaves, To the Wind, Strawberry Girls and many more in their short career! Back in 2012 when they came together, they began writing and released 3 new songs. Now, with the help of Andy Gomoll (Four Year Strong) and Jeff Schneeweis (Anberlin, Hawthorne Heights, Number One Gun) and artwork by We Were Giants’ Dylan Hamar, these guys have created an entire album that transcends the boundaries of anything you might have expected. That album, Vintage Postcards is the #1 most played release in my library in my entire history of listening to music. What makes it so great, though? Well, it’s anything but your typical pop-punk album for starters. It’s a concept album, centered around the good, bad and ugly of a relationship that is being torn apart by, from what I can tell, recruitment into the military or some type of travel. Instead of the typical “I have to get out of this town, everyone hates me” lyrical content you hear these days, one of the first lyrics you’ll hear on the album is “Stop telling yourself that there’s nothing left for you in this washed-up town, you’ll hate yourself for not wanting more!” It’s catchy, it’s beautiful and it will capture your heart in a way you never thought possible. You can feel the connection that the band has with the fans, with each other and with the music… it’s truly breathtaking.

“Vintage Postcards From Germany”: I’ll admit, this is one of my favorite tracks on the album. It tells the story of two lovers, from best available evidence it seems the male character is going off to the military. As he does not know where he’ll be stationed, how long he’ll be there or what will happen while he’s there… she can’t handle being away from him. She takes off on a plane the morning before he’s scheduled to take a train out of town to wherever he is going. She promises him, “I’m coming back, I just don’t know how long I’ll be gone!” As the two struggle to keep things together, his determination level rises and he vows to rekindle everything they had before when he returns. Until then, she has vowed to collect the postcards he will send from each place that he visits. This is an amazingly heartfelt song and beautifully depicts how hard a situation like that can be. I’ve seen the good and bad sides of these situations and, honestly, I cry each time I hear this track… regardless of the fact that I’m belting out every word.

“Delorean Repair Shop”/”Apathy Fight Song”: These songs are polar opposites of one another in terms of concept. “Delorean Repair Shop” sees the couple riding along, seizing every moment and living life with no regrets. “Apathy Fight Song” sees the couple separated.. one individual “showed up at my doorstep” to beg for forgiveness. “You wanna go back to the way it was and you wanna say we’re still in love? Tell me, now, where would that leave us ’cause I’m dying to know!” Jarrard sings these words and you feel the knife twist, you’ve already connected with these characters and, just like that, it seems the end is near.

“Supernatural Activity:” This song weighs heavy on my heart because it centers around the loss of a loved one, the feelings of anguish expressed in those moments the realization fully hits you and the idea that those we love watch over us. As someone who has lost several family members to cancer, illness and many other factors… I can’t help but cry every time I listen to this track. The song is designed to let you know that, though you feel you’re alone, you never truly are.

“Mixtapes for Josephene”: This song features the incredibly talented Mercedes Ann of IDLER and is one of the most beautifully-orchestrated tracks on the album. It starts off slow, a little bit of synth/keyboard in the background… giving it an eerie beginning. When the full band kicks in, it takes on an entirely different form. This song sees our two main characters stuck, wondering what to do next. “This is my story so far, can you tell me what’s next ’cause I can’t find the next page. Will you read to me please, so I know what I should never be?” This is the point of realization, where the couple is finding their way back to one another, working out the issues they had. They’ve come so far, they love each other so much and they don’t want it to end.

I could easily continue talking about this album, how great it is and why you should listen to it. It’s perfectly orchestrated, from the music and lyrics to the production and engineering. They’ve chosen 2 perfect singles, “Vintage Postcards From Germany” and “Apathy Fight Song” as a taste of what’s to come. For an unsigned band, they’ve chosen the perfect way to get their music heard. How can you get your hands on Vintage Postcards, well… watch for that info to come soon. I can guarantee, though, you do not want to sleep on this album. I’m so proud to have been on the journey with these guys, each step of the way from the rough mixes all the way to the finalized, shelf-ready product. Be sure to pick up Vintage Postcards when pre-orders get announced and catch them with Victory Records band, The Bunny The Bear at the Curtain Club in Dallas next Monday!

“Vintage Postcards From Germany” (Official Lyric Video)

“Apathy Fight Song” (Official Music Video)

Buy Vintage Postcards
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A Life In Arm’s Reach is:
Randy Jarrard – Vocals
Ezra Rendall – Guitar
Cash Trujillo – Guitar
Luis Rolong – Bass/Vocals
Alan Pfaff – Drums