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Tail Swallower and Dove

These Arms Are Snakes

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Album Review

More direct than These Arms Are Snakes' first two releases, Tail Swallower and Dove racehorses angrily out of the gates in a tightly harnessed fury. Maintaining restraint and removing meandering interludes from their equation, the post-hardcore quartet holds strong in an unwavering speakercone-shaking volume. Rather than throwing in the atmospheric splash as they did on Easter, the only dynamic shift here is from loud to louder. Vocalist Steve Snere helps to determine the slight difference in decibels by alternating between a snide Afghan Whigs whine to a full-throttled At the Drive-In screech on the choruses. For the most part, the album fits the bill as a post-hardcore/metal explosion of heavy-handed beats and nimble guitar work that doesn't sound all that far removed from albums released on Dischord and Headhunter in the '90s. Chris Common is a skilled producer, playing the role of a Steve Albini-type, who concentrates on strict engineering rather than adding too much production. This gives the record a timeless quality: not too raw, not too slick, with close attention to sonic detail and only the occasional piece of additional flair. Even with moments of vocoder and distorted synth blasts, he's careful not to obstruct the rock grooves, which act as the cornerstone for the album, blending and building from song to song. Common also acts as a hell of a drummer, blasting out skittering fills and providing interesting razor-sharp rhythmic interplay between Ryan Frederiksen and Brian Cook. With nimble hammer-on riffs and a driving ominous intensity of distorted crackle and cymbal smashes, it pays ample tribute to trailblazers Fugazi and Drive Like Jehu. As a listen, the record is focused, but also pretty exhausting, which is probably the primary intention of These Arms Are Snakes: to bludgeon listeners into submission.

Customer Reviews

The best band you've never heard of

I'd be the first to admit they're not for everyone, but if you like aggressive, uncompromising music that occasionally verges into the surreal, this is the band for you. Hard to classify but wonderful to listen to if you've got the taste for it. See them live if possible - one of the best live bands you'll ever see.

Modern-day Scratch Acid/Jesus Lizard

Just raw enough to appeal to my indie sensibilities without sacrificing too much on Lo-Fi for Lo-Fi's sake...

Brings me back to the days of Laughing Hyenas, Today is the Day, and even a little NoMeansNo.

Great effort!

yeah what he said

i saw them live and instantly loved them...i don't even have the cd yet but i rate it five stars because i KNOW it's good

Biography

Formed: 2003 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Artsy Seattle post-hardcore act These Arms Are Snakes mixes the urgency and aggressive vocal style of punk with the exploded song structures and technical complexity of the original wave of math rock bands. This fusion is a logical progression from the bandmembers' former projects: singer Steve Snere was formerly of the Minneapolis-to-Seattle emo transplants Kill Sadie, while bassist, singer, and keyboardist Brian Cook was formerly in long-running math rockers Botch. (Scene incest note: other former...
Full Bio
Tail Swallower and Dove, These Arms Are Snakes
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