Material: If you ever wanted to know what the musical love child of British indie pop and the All-American Rejects would sound like, it’s Arlington, a band that comes packed with the adolescent energy of the pop-rock heroes its members grew up hearing in the late ‘90s and 2000’s. A standout of the set is “On My Way,” which features a slow build-up into a catchy repetition accompanied by a strong guitar riff that has echoes of the Kooks and the Shins running through it.
Musicianship: Peake’s bass has a crisp, anchoring presence in each song, managing not to get drowned out by the conversation between the guitar and drums. Benko’s sultry vocals entice the listener. But the band’s true promise shines brightest during the blues-rock-style instrumental breaks where each player is allowed to dazzle individually and the band gets to show its well- rounded strength as a unit.
Performance: Benko brings an engaging charisma to the stage. When he stays in his lower range, his vocals bring depth to the song. With more fine-tuning, his higher pitch will bring a unique pop element to the heavier songs. Benko and Peake played up front while still engaging with each other and Whitson. They know how to play to the audience without allowing their musicianship to suffer. Though seated during the performance, Whitson made a lively impression from behind his drumkit. Despite their youth, Arlington have the presence of a band with lots of live experience.
Summary: For a band whose appearance and demographic screams “preppy Hot Topic style,” these boys showed confidence in diversifying the style from heavy to light, ‘70s to the noughties and everything in between. Arlington’s heavier songs still need work, but when it comes to pop blues-rock hits, this band has the power to rein in a new generation of rock fans