November 8, 2006
THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES [I]EASTER[/I] REVIEW
Seattle, Washington is a gold mine?°¦anyone who says otherwise is just foolish. It has been the birthplace of monumental bands like Botch, Deadguy, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Murder City Devils, Akimbo, Minus the Bear, Rocky Votolato, The Blood Brothers, and so on and so forth. Of course Botch split to form Roy, Minus the Bear, and These Arms Are Snakes (as well as Of Alaska). Now one EP, one split, and two full lengths into their career, These Arms Are Snakes seem to be on top of the world. With this new genre defying album called Easter, they work to solidify their place as one of the top indie bands in the US; Seattle Weekly Magazine agreed, voting them as the punk/hardcore band of 2006.
Being a big fan of their previous efforts, I was predisposed to liking These Arms Are Snakes, but they have far exceeded the standards set in that aspect. It became increasingly clearer with each album that TAAS put out that they were more than just a sum of their parts, they had taken on a life of their own and this record really displays it. Their sound is dominated by a low end heavy assault that teams up long time bass magician Brian Cook with a new drummer by the name of Chris Common, who is also a superb record producer (putting his touch on this album behind the boards). With a barrage of guitar effects, sludgy and spacey tones, and intricate riffs provided by Ryan Frederiksen (who may be one of my candidates for guitarist of the year) to be a companion to Brian and Chris, the album will draw you in like a sailor to a siren’s song. Add Steve Snere at the forefront, and there isn’t much that TAAS can’t do. The album lyrics are laced with a theme of religion, the desert, and ghosts that helps to tie the whole project together.
When talking about These Arms Are Snakes, you run into interesting situations. They’re a band that is groundbreaking, and often imitated by other acts. Like so many people have said before, imitation is the greatest form of flattery, so it just goes to show that the world appreciates what TAAS is doing, and how could they not? These Arms Are Snakes are meticulous in their song creation, plotting each riff like it was brain surgery. Every song is a new experiment in sonic creativity, an aural adventure if you prefer to word it that way. It is clear that they worry about structure (or a lack thereof), transitions, and how the overall product will come out. They aren’t a band to say “oh that sounds cool, let’s force it into a song we already wrote”.
In conclusion: These Arms Are Snakes are an example of everything that is right with music right now: originality, creativity, talent, and heart. I consider it a privilege and an honor to review any of their albums. And you should consider it a civil duty to buy their album and support them.
Rocks Like: really... no one.
Rise and Revolt
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