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Dubai’s Coat of Arms Ponder Third-Culture Status in Anthemic ‘Example’

The progressive rock band have been on fire, releasing six singles since returning from a four-year hiatus last November.

Call it Nu-core, call it Djent, call it Metalcore - regardless of whichever one of the terms tickles your fancy most, there are few acts in the Middle East making the kind of music that Coat of Arms are making, a fact made all the more apparent when the Dubai-based band returned from a four-year hiatus at the end of 2020.

In a kind-of poetic, ‘you don’t realise what you have till it's gone’ situation, the band’s return went one step further, proving that you also don’t know what you have till it's gone and then returns. The group wasted little time in getting back to business, releasing ‘Inferno’ in November 2020, and following it up in 2021 with a further five singles.

Their sixth and latest, ‘Example’, continues the band’s hot streak and tackles a subject close to them and so many across the region: the many trappings of being a third-culture kid.It’s not the first time musicians have pondered the issue, and certainly won’t be the last, but it’s something that rings true all the same. While a soft opening few seconds suggests that this song pines for somewhere to call home, it’s anything but, and explodes into a cacophony of roaring guitars and the soaring vocals of the chorus.

There’s no self-pity here. If anything, the song is an anthem, a celebration of what being a third-culture kid is, with a simple but effective visualiser proving as such. In it, the group brings together visual artists, musicians, MCs, radio hosts (including friend of #SceneNoise, Big Hass), podcasters, spoken word poets, creative directors and even wrestlers from Dubai to simply stand in front of camera and sing along to the song as a united front to show the incredible diversity of Dubai - a place that brings together people from all walks of life, a place that seemingly gives Coats of Arms everything they need.