Arab Strap

The Red Thread

You’re never as vulnerable or fragile as you are when you’re entering or exiting a relationship—something Arab Strap is painfully aware of. The group packs the power to take hold of your heart and squeeze the life out of it, and more often than not it uses it. The Red Thread starts on a note that’s downright tranquil, pastoral even, the tempered acoustic guitar and piano of "Amor Veneris" belying the lyrical heartbreak within. "The Devil Tips" enters with sparse cymbal taps and ebbs out with a moody thrum; its recurring crescendos pull you in with the power of an undertow. Twenty-three years of foreplay have led up to this—the most raw and turbulently beautiful record Arab Strap has ever made. Pulled taut or strung loose, the red thread that ties is the same one that strangles. It’s all just a matter of tautness.