The four men of the Armchairs are a rambunctious group. Constantly bantering and joking, carrying on at least two conversations at once, falling out of chairs laughing and providing a stream of non sequiturs sums up an interaction with them. Guitarist and vocalsit Andy Molholt says the band’s motto is “not taking ourselves too seriously.” Given that devil-may-care attitude, listening to the Armchairs’ songs is a bit of a surprise. They’re well-written, with catchy yet simple song structures, and they straddle the sound of ‘60s pop and modern indie rock. They’re ramshackle, but with a purpose, rowdy but thoughtful.
Of course, ask them about their songwriting and ... “We can’t divulge that information,” vocalist and guitarist Michael Chadwick says before bassist Andrew Morris chimes in, “I’ll give you three hints: Salisbury steak, rainfall, evolution.”
Though Molholt, almost taking on a role as the band’s de facto patriarch, does give an honest answer—he and Chadwick usually collaborate and bring it to the rest of the band to flesh it out—it’s the jibberish answers that give more insight into the band and its music, giving a hint to the undercurrent of mischief that infiltrates its songs.
Since forming in September 2007, and switching drummers to include current member Mike Harkness in February 2008, the Armchairs have been working on releasing an album. “We wanted to record a record before we even started,” Harkness says with a laugh. But the band has been firmly in the middle of its debut for nearly a year now, dealing with a missing engineer in the process. They began re-recording some of the tracks over the summer at University of the Arts’ Merriam Theater, and the band says they hope to have the album out early next year. It’s set to be titled Science & Advice at the urging of—they insist this is true—Laurence Fishburne. ■
Sun., Oct. 18, 8pm. $8. With Drink Up Buttercup + the Deleted Scenes. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St. 215.291.4919. kungfunecktie.com
PW's Music Issue 2014