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January 7, 2008

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Band: These Arms Are Snakes
Album: Easter
Genre: Post-Hardcore
Line up:

Label: Jade Tree

1. Mescaline Eyes
2. Horse Girl
3. Subtle Body
4. Desery Ghost
5. Child Chicken Play
6. Hell's Bank Notes
7. Abracadabraca
8. Deer Lodge
9. Lady North
10. Perpetual Bris
11. Coporeal
12. Crazy Woman Dirty Train

With anticipation from These Arms Are Snakes' follow-up to their debut full-length, Oxeneers or When the Lion Sleeps Its Antelope Go Home, Easter had to live up somehow to the siren guitar strikes of Ryan Frederiksen and intense rhythm section and vocal urgencies of Steve Snere.

All of the above are completely present on Easter. The band even step up in production, pulling an instrumental phrase back here, or pushing a guitar line to the front there. These Arms Are Snakes have proven yet again their underrated larger than life progressive rock and roll. The problem lies in the homogeny of the albums tracks. Standing alone, each track is phenomenal, but as a whole, the album sounds like a bunch of larger than life singles. This is great for those times one wants to skip around, but the flow of the album suffers just a bit.

The band opens with another heavy hitter. This time, instead of rapid electric beatings by guitar licks and synth lines to the head like "The Shit Sisters," "Mescaline Eyes" feels like a slow swing into a brutal knockout hit of an opening riff. The band never holds back on how heavy or light they can become, and Easter cements how These Arms Are Snakes are relentless at this. The follow up, and single, "Horse Girl" is a tyrant rant by both Snere and his band, and "Lady North" is a vibrant hurricane of ups and downs.

Even when it looks as the band will venture on the light side of harmonious sound, "Chicken Child Play" showcases how the band has a knack for building beauty into epic chaos. The only easy moment that comes across on Easter is the acoustic "Perpetual Bris." Thinking the album will drown out on "Coporeal," the band come back with an encore on "Crazy Women Dirty Train," its song title encapsulates the extra five minutes of rock.

These Arms Are Snakes have once again made a monster of a record. While it doesn't stick together in between tracks, that lack of flow is made up in the individual compostitions that build the record as a whole, just as the music builds within each song. It only helps to go back, listen and anticipate what's to come late this year from one of the most dominant, but some times underappreciated rock acts in the league.
Rating: 9

Highbeam Review

Adam Pfleider