The Austrians have made many important contributions to culture. There’s Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the Viennese waltz, Wiener Schnitzel, Falco (what? I said it.). But for San Francisco-based ArnoCorps, the contribution that inspired them the most was former Austrian bodybuilder slash former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. On the band’s The Greatest Band of All Time, an album re-released by Alternative Tentacles, ArnoCorps deliver songs that are directly inspired by the governator’s film career. Hey, if Ronald Reagan served as fuel for the punk rock fire for years, Arnold sure as hell can.
ArnoCorps come across like a punk rock Rammstein; they’ve adopted German inspired names and fully commit to their roles albeit not quite as militantly or with as much kitsch as their German brothers. Vocalist Holzfeuer spits his lyrics out like a gruff mix between GG Allin, James Hetfield and a Muppet. To be clear, that’s not a negative criticism. The band’s instrumentation is effective: it’s clean, it’s hard and it’s on the poppy side.
But it was always Reagan’s politics that were skewered by punk rock. For ArnoCorps their main target is Schwarzenegger’s films. The titles of songs on The Greatest Band of All Time read like Arnold’s filmography on the IMDB. Although, disappointingly, there’s no “Kindergarten Cop.” Consider the tracks to be musical interpretations of the films. “True Lies” really kicks the album into gear with a surf rock attitude and a less militant attitude by way of a choir of “ohhs” on the chorus while “Sixth Day” stomps along like a military march. “Commando” offer more aggression, especially with lyrics like, “I eat green berets — eat them for breakfast!”
ArnoCorps’ The Greatest Band of All Time was originally released in 2005. Alternative Tentacles’ new release of the recording is one worth a spin. Sure, it’s not groundbreaking and it could have easily been gimmicky but it’s actually decent punk rock delivered with a smug smirk.