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Who? The Windy City’s Arks first sailed as a three-piece in 2002, though the band didn’t record until 2004’s steady Or Else It’s Not There EP. These days, Paul Hornschemeier (vocals/guitar), Lanny Oswalt (guitar), Mat Biscan (bass) and Glenn Rischke (drums) take responsibility for the systematically fractured punk racket jutting from the band’s first full-length, The International, out August 14th via Chicago-based imprint, Highwheel.

What’s the Deal? The International feels like Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd weaving through Gang of Four tunes, particularly on droning album closer “Sudden Freeze/The Ice Shelf/The Thaw.” These guitars are dirty but impeccable, avoiding showy wanking in place of gnarly dynamics. The crunching title track crashes with a heavily starched staccato rhythm. Tracks such as “Candor,” “Stator/Asymptote” and “Customs” grind along a draining heavy-bass approach a la Canadian punk stalwarts NoMeansNo, while the sub two-minute “Maritime Snakes” flails away with Wire-esque energy and efficiency. Other tracks like “Safe and Sound” and “Tumult!” jerk like Pere Ubu sans David Thomas’ wailing bellow.

Fun Fact: When they’re not hammering out their post punk-induced nerve rock, Arks members run the creative gamut for day jobs. Frontman Paul Hornschemeier is a graphic novelist by day while bassist Mat Biscan is a web designer and DJ. Drummer Glenn Rischke moonlights as a hairdresser, and guitarist Lanny Oswalt is a sound engineer.

Now Hear This:
Arks – “Stator/Asymptote” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:
Arks at MySpace

Talk: Can The International bring Arks worldwide notoriety?

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