These Arms Are Snakes

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The sort of postmodern hardcore your little sister will also like. If she has tattoos and / or piercings, is infatuated with Charles Manson, digs Richard Kern, prefers Johnny Depp to Brad Pitt and owns several records by bands that you don’t know anything about. – Monochrom

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Seattle rockers TAAS explore the territory which was previously occupied by the likes of Drive Like Jehu and Fugazi. The band features former members of a whole number of other bands, including Kill Sadie and Botch and they also toured extensively with the likes of  Blood Brothers, Hot Water Music, Isis, Pelican and Big Business.

This-Is-Meant-To-Hurt-You-EP-2003-150x150 These Arms Are Snakes
This Is Meant To Hurt You EP – 2003

The band debuted with “This Is Meant To Hurt You” EP, which was produced by Matt Bayles (Isis, Mastodon). Monochrom website commented that “This is meant to hurt you” is heavy, but not that heavy. Neurotic, but not that neurotic. Distorted, but not so much as to leave you bleeding. All in all, these five tracks don’t live up to the promise of the title or the cover, but add up to a great mini-album of modern rock music.”

TAAS first full-length was 2004 “Oxeneers Or The Lion Sleeps When Its Antelope Go Home” (also produced by Matt Bayles). It was described by Pitchfork as “a challenging debut that sidesteps inflated expectations by staying close to the group’s established sound while still demonstrating a flexibility conducive to future musical development.”

Further on, Pitchfork commented that “Oxeneers adequately realizes the potential of This Was Meant to Hurt You, but the band could easily cut some of the prog-rock fat that intermittently hinders the album’s momentum. These Arms Are Snakes is a promising venture of a group juggling several parallel engagements and side projects (including Minus the Bear), though the band occasionally stumbles in establishing a singular voice. Somewhere beneath the heavy exterior and detached indulgence is a jagged post-punk outfit screaming to be let free.”

Easter-2006-150x150 These Arms Are Snakes
Easter – 2006

In 2006, the band released “Easter” and 2008 saw the release of “Tail Swallower And Dove”,  their third LP. The band also recorded a number of splits with the likes of Harkonen, Pelican, Russian Circles and All The Saints.

All Music Guide commented on “Easter” – “The Seattle troupe continues to mash post-hardcore with noise rock and mathy song structures that astringently contrast calm and harsh settings to keep listeners constantly on edge. Echoing keys resonate murkily through dense backgrounds, unconcerned with whatever else is going around them. And without their own spoken word, the guitars and drums have no choice but to voice agreement with the tortured observations of (Steve) Snere by pointedly rising and falling, emanating an unquestionable intensity of their concurring distress.”

Tail-Swallower-And-Dove-2008-150x150 These Arms Are Snakes
Tail Swallower And Dove – 2008

In their review of “Tail Swallower And Dove” album AMG  pointed out that the record “racehorses angrily out of the gates in a tightly harnessed fury.” Further on, they added that “Maintaining restraint and removing meandering interludes from their equation, the post-hardcore quartet holds strong in an unwavering speakercone-shaking volume.  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.”

These Arms Are Snakes are going to be one of the bands that will be featured on an upcoming Nirvana tribute compilation. The tribute have no scheduled release date set and is going to come out on Robotic Empire label.

Current Line-Up:

Brian Cook (Botch, Russian Circles)

Chris Common

Ryan Frederiksen

Steve Snere

Former Members:

Erin Tate (Killsadie, Minus The Bear)

Discography:

This Is Meant To Hurt You CD / 12″ (Jade Tree, 2003 / Second Nature, 2003)

Oxeneers Or The Lion Sleeps When Its Antelope Go Home CD / LP (Jade Tree, 2004 / Daymare, 2004 / Second Nature, 2004)

Like A Virgin (with Harkonen) CD / LP (Hydra Head, 2005)

Easter CD / LP (Jade Tree, 2006 / Daymare, 2006 / Second Nature, 2006 / Vinyl Collective, 2008)

Good Friday 7″ (Suicide Squeeze, 2006)

These Arms Are Snakes / Tropics Split 7″ (We-Be, 2008)

These Arms Are Snakes / Pelican Split CD / 10″ (Hydra Head, 2008)

Tail Swallower And Dove CD / LP (Suicide Squeeze, 2008 / Daymare, 2008)

These Arms Are Snakes / Russian Circles Split 12″ (Sargent House, 2008)

These Arms Are Snakes / All The Saints Split 7″ (Touch And Go, 2009)


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