Every time they release a new album or perform live in my vicinity, I’m reminded that the Armed are one of the greatest bands in the world: a sprawling and somewhat mysterious collective with a rotating cast of singers and musicians, playing earth-scorchingly loud and heavy party music spiked with moments of pop accessibility. They rule so hard, and as of today, they’re back.

As teased by billboards and social posts and such, today the Armed have announced a new album. Perfect Saviors, the Detroit-based group’s follow-up to 2021’s stellar ULTRAPOP, will be out in September. Billed as the conclusion of a trilogy of albums exploring what pop culture means today, it was produced by the Armed’s Tony Wolski along with Ben Chisholm and Troy Van Leeuwen. Beyond those three, its contributors list reads like so: Ken Szymanski, Randall Lee, Dan Greene, Urian Hackney, Cara Drolshagen, Patrick Shiroishi, Sarah Tudzin (Illuminati Hotties), Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Mark Guiliana, Matt Sweeney, Bryan Aiken, Jacob Bannon (Converge), Julien Baker, Eric Avery and Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), Josh Klinghoffer (ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers), Chris Slorach, Zach Weeks, Brian Wolski, and Derek Coburn. The legendary Alan Moulder did the mix.

Here’s Wolski with a statement of purpose for the new LP:

Too much information has made us dumb and confused. Too many ways to connect have inadvertently led to isolation. And too much expectation has forced everyone to become a celebrity. Predictable primal dangers have given way to newer social ones. And the result is a world that is confounding and terrifying—but ultimately still beautiful. We hope this record is exactly all of that, too.

Perfect Saviors is our completely unironic, sincere effort to create the biggest, greatest rock album of the 21st century.

Out today, lead single “Sport Of Form” features vocals from Julien Baker, who can be heard harmonizing on the shape-shifting track’s grand refrain, “Does anyone even know you? Does anyone even care?” It’s the most an Armed song has ever sounded like a Julien Baker song, though there are also flashes of the absolutely ballistic style that first put them on my radar. Wolski has a statement on “Sport Of Form” too:

There are two types of sport — those of measure and those of form. A sport of measure like basketball, football, or soccer has a point system and a sort of binary path to victory. A sport of form is something like diving, figure skating, or bodybuilding — something with evolving standards and a layer of subjectivity and some sort of critical component.

The world that surrounds us is complex, and our lives are truly more akin to a sport of form than one of measure. Yet, so many people see it as exactly the opposite.

Lyrically, this song is about the human need to win a game that we’re not even actually playing. Sonically, it is a reflection of that cognitive dissonance through a constant whiplash between beauty and ugliness, severity and tenderness, obscenity and grace.

Lots of Armed members appear in the Wolski-directed video, as does Iggy Pop in the role of God. Watch below.

01 “Sport Of Measure”
02 “FKA World”
03 “Clone”
04 “Modern Vanity”
05 “Everything’s Glitter”
06 “Burned Mind”
07 “Sport Of Form”
08 “Vatican Under Construction”
09 “Liar 2”
10 “In Heaven”
11 “Public Grieving”

Perfect Saviors is out 9/8 via