“I haven’t heard a Santa Cruz band that has the sound we’re putting out,” says Isaac Romero, front man for the postpunk, dance rock band Arrows. “But it doesn’t matter. We’ve played a few shows with all metal bands and had a great reception.”
Normally this might sound like the regular boasting of musicians, but with these post-punk dance rockers, it’s genuine and deserved. Consisting of Romero on guitar and vocals, Ricky Rivera on guitar, Ryan Chew on bass, and drummer Jesse Flores, their stripped-down, laid-back demeanor matches the band’s raw sound.
Formed only a year and a half ago, Arrows has already hit the streets hard. Their dedicated ambition and constant gigging has built a name for themselves around town, and they recently headlined one of the venues for the Santa Cruz Music Festival.
“The reception has been pretty good,” Romero adds.
Two months ago the quartet released their self-titled debut; a seven-track EP as hauntingly visceral as it is catchy.
“I did all the engineering and mixing,” explains co-founding member, Chew. “We recorded most of it in our kitchen and our bedrooms.”
“The Cayuga HQ,” Romero laughs.
With driving bass lines and celestial melodies, Arrows combine the postpunk aesthetic a la Joy Division, the Cure, and Interpol with lonesome beach symbolism, creating a sound that clearly represents a gray day in our city by the sea.
“Santa Cruz has definitely influenced the imagery of Arrows,” Chew says.
As if an EP and music festival weren’t enough for 2015, Arrows recently signed to a new label based in town, Cora Records, and plan on releasing a vinyl, 7-inch single for their song “Richon,” a dark and poppy number about Romero’s longtime girlfriend.
“It’s always been my dream to have a single with my band name on it,” Romero ponders. “I’m pretty stoked to see it.”
While that probably won’t come out until sometime next year, you can check out Arrows on Sunday, Nov. 8 at the Crepe Place as they hit the stage with Portland act Yaquina Bay and local prog-psych rockers Night Dive.