Boomkat Product Review:
The Arms of Someone New formed in 1983 in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA, when Mel Eberle was playing in The First Things and Steve Jones was managing and producing that band. Almost coincidentally Mel and Steve started making music alongside Mel's recording and writing for The First Things.
"The first four songs on this album were the first they recorded with the intention of releasing them as a band, and were recorded in a small apartment in Champaign. They were released in December, 1983, on the Significant Others cassette, on The First Things’ label, Hysterical Records. The title was taken from one of the names they considered using for the band. Watching The Time was a track recorded during those sessions but was not released.
The idea for the Arms of Someone New was to combine Mel’s and Steve’s several varied interests in the Beatles, psychedelia, blues, new wave and post-punk to create a sound in which the listener would be enveloped, immersed. They followed up Significant Others two months later with another cassette on Hysterical, Occam’s Razor, the second side of this album. It essentially followed the path on which Significant Others had set them, and added in a live take of Carole. The unreleased Sell the Earth was also recorded live.
Their ambitions turned toward a concept album with songs tied together sonically and lyrically, and resulted in the Notes From Undergroundcassette (released in Germany on Devils Dandy Dogs), their final recording for Hysterical, released April, 1984. The third side of this album, Notes From Underground, was a creative peak and the song My Friend in particular became a fan favorite.
The fourth side of this album features unreleased and rare tracks from the span of the Arms of Someone New’s cassette years. Illusions was the first song Mel and Steve recorded together, in May, 1983, and it ended up on an album by The First Things and became a staple of their live set. A Second at a Time, Balance and Seventy Years were on a cassette given away with a local fanzine in May, 1985. All three presage the harder, more electric sound they were to favor on their first vinyl releases that began that year."