You knew it was going to happen sooner or later – it appears that he chaotic goodness and impossible love of The Armed has once again revealed itself, making itself known.
Well, you know – as known as anything else is about the band. After several EP’s worth of competent metallic mathcore in the vein of Botch and The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Armed leveled up significantly with their first full length Untitled in 2015, and did so again on 2018’s otherworldly Only Love.
But as things ramped up to the release of Ultrapop in 2021, it was obvious that the band was playing everything and everyone around them in an utterly surreal fashion, far surpassing the boundaries of the common troll or ironic meta-narratives. If you need a refresher, just check out the promo below from their Ultrapop: Live at the Masonic performance.
Are we bracing for another wave of upheaval, with stand-in actors and stunts? Who knows. To keep up with the band’s lore and going on, you’d best keep up with them and their various crews on their Discord. That being said, on multiple Armed participant social media accounts, a strange poster was shared this week, at first graced with the text “VAT ICAN UNDER TRUC.COM.” Or something like that. It wasn’t a real website. That sounds more like something they called us in high school. Then hours later, another version was posted, featuring a legitimate URL.
At this point, the phrase Vatican Under Construction can be seen on all versions of the social media posts. The phrase is also accompanied by the words “never die, never fade, sport of form, state of grace.” Those sure sound like The Armed lyrics to us. That being said, following the link takes you to a sort of Augmented Reality Game (or ARG, if that’s what this is) featuring Cara, one of the band’s main performers, who you can help choose from three different… tasks?
‘Spouse Reformat,’ the first one we tried, was waking up. We opened Cara’s eyes, made her yawn and stretch, and after she sat up to ‘make the most of our day,’ she took out her phone, and laid back down. We were then told to wake to a ringtone, which when played, sounds strangely like a 10-second take from “Out of My League” by Fitz and the Tantrums with an 8-bit twist. The second task we tried, ‘Inpatient MD,’ was eating, where we are able to brandish a red delicious apple, a poison apple, or a knife for Cara. Once we started to get the same results, that Cara was still hungry, despite the blood pouring from her mouth, we thought about giving up.
Not because we didn’t want to keep trying, mind you – because we’ve read Foucault’s Pendulum. We don’t want this to end – at least, not like that. Although we admit, it could. Kind of. Anyway. The third task, ‘Evil Bug Pricing,’ was not yet available at the time (probably because we used our phone), and we were honestly thankful for the chance to walk away… but we knew we would be back. When we finally got to it, the third task was a game of chess. Except you don’t have any pieces. Cara has all the pieces and you have to let her play, and win, in order to get the invite tooooo…. drum roll please…
…an IRL rematch!
We’re not confused. You’re confused. We’re confused.
Honestly, we bet she’s pretty good, at least, certainly better than us! At least we are no strangers to wondering what the actual feck these guys are up to. We will try to keep you posted. If you haven’t already, please sit down and watch every second of the Ultrapop: Live at the Masonic here, and if you want us to cup black water to our lips like they do on Jupiter, buy us a coffee here why don’tcha. If you’ve made it this far, we hope you got the reference! REFRACT and have a good weekend.