When I talked to Toby Foster at a show and asked his permission to upload this album, he told me that I could on the condition that I didn't talk shit about the band. Condition met.
At the time of this recording, Arkansas? was officially a two-piece consisting of Toby Foster and Victor Vieira-Branco. Both guys sing on this release, with Toby taking a bulk of the songs. The album opener is 'Facebook', a song about Facebook breakups that actually happened to my friend Zach. A few songs later, '45' provides the album with an awesome track that has never failed to make me smile. In fact, this album has never really failed to make me smile. The playful guitars, combined with the excellent drumming really give this album a solid pop-punk foundation to dance upon, and I'm not talking metaphorically about the music. This album is 100% danceable, no matter if you're dancing to forget the bruises these songs remind you of or if you're just dancing from the sheer optimism this album puts out. Songs like 'Hash Browns' give off great vibes while not sacrificing musical integrity or sounding too corny. I really almost feel like I'm doing this album a disservice by writing about it, because that probably means you, the reader, aren't listening to it and you don't feel happy as I do when I listen to it. If you want to buy it (which you really should do because it's awesome and so is the 1/3 of this band that I've met), you can go to Arkansas?'s MySpace. It's on there.
P.S. On the song 'Dance Moves', Toby mentions that he stole dance moves from a guy named Evan Gornik. Evan Gornik and Toby Foster recently put out a split 12" that will probably wind up being one of my favorite albums of 2009. There's not a bad song from either artist on there, seriously. You can get it here if there are any copies left, or from a show maybe. Trust me, it's great.