October 12, 2004
THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES [I]OXENEERS OR THE LION SLEEPS WHEN ITS ANTELOPE GO[/I] REVIEW
Being an "ex-member band" is a hard thing to shake off at times. Luckily for Seattle, WA's These Arms Are Snakes, they are good enough to make you forget that they have members of Kill Sadie and Botch, two of the most innovative hardcore bands of all time, amongst their roster, and have created a name for themselves through hard work, a rigorous tour schedule...oh, and
making good music. Who would have thought?
These Arms Are Snakes released an EP 2 summers ago, entitled "This Is
Meant To Hurt You", which was a very good effort, but the demos were better
(besides the last song on the EP), and it wasn't enough material for a band that sparked such a great fanbase in such a short time. Enter almost a year later, the band releases their long delayed split with Harkonen, loses a keyboard player, loses a drummer, gains a new drummer with a rock n roll resume that states "drummer of Minus The Bear", and prepares to write a full length! The world is stunned! Enter NOW, the album is finally out, the band is touring non-stop, the guitar player grows a ton of hair, and the bass player plays as much keyboard as he does bass. Now is a good time forThese Arms Are Snakes."Oxeneers" opens with a raunchy techno beat on the song "The Shit Sisters", which soon bombards into some avant-garde hardcore courtesy of your boys in the Snakes. They waste no time going into somewhat of a build up that leads into triumphant riffing, vocalist Steve Snere's signature holler, and wait...keyboards!?! If you read the above paragraph, you will
understand why that is there. The next song, "Angela's Secret" begins with an
incredibly catchy bassy keyboard interlude, most likely coming from a
Micro-Korg, but not soon after TAAS breaks into a nice dance build up, into somewhat of a breakdown, then into more riffing, then into my favorite part of the song...led by drummer Erin Tate's silky smooth signature drumming style and bassist Brian Cook playing a racing bassline that guides the angular
guitars and Steve's chants. It's beautiful. Up next is the teaser from the
album,"Big News". Most that I know that heard this song complained "omg I
like their old stuff so much more this sucks omg!" But I am actually a big
fan of this track. "Big News" includes the best bass line of the year, as
well as an awesome bridge (which includes Snere's chant of "What is the
sense/ Of giving/ All of your time/ Away?", one of the best moments of the album).The next two tracks are relatively boring, one is an interlude and the other is a somewhat boring, kind of depressing ballad. "Greetings From The Great North Woods" saves the listener from dying of boredom however, this song is incredibly catchy, and pretty exciting actually. To keep us even more excited, the next 2 tracks are also just as catchy and good! Holy cow! What a comeback! The album closes with the eerie "Idaho", Idaho isn't much of an eerie place to begin with, I live only an hour away from it, but the continuous organ in the first 3 minutes of this song creep me out, but the breakdown in this song rules, with two guitars at once (Line 6 pedals,everybody, there is still one guitar playing all of this) harmonizing an incredibly catchy part that is very similar to (I hate to be so generic) later At The Drive-In era Omar Rodriguez riffs. The song then slowly crumbles away, ending the album.
These Arms Are Snakes have (finally) delivered a stunning debut. It
sounds like nothing out there right now (note the vague descriptions I gave)
except These Arms Are Snakes, and simply put, they are something you need to experience for yourself, for starters you can pick up this album.
Perfect for listening to while standing next to skyscrapers, arguing on the
phone, and playing video games.
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