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Review: 'These Arms Are Snakes'
'Duct Tape & Shivering Crows'   

-  Label: 'Suicide Squeeze/Bandcamp'
-  Genre: 'Punk/New Wave' -  Release Date: '15.4.22.'

Our Rating:
These Arms Are Snakes are a hardcore punk act, that I seemed to have missed out on, as this is a compilation of the band's rarities recorded before this Seattle band broke up in 2009. The songs are presented in reverse chronological order so most recent songs first working there way from split LP's and special tracks on comps back to the band's first demos. They have reformed and are out on tour in the USA soon.

Released as a double album the first side is taken from the bands Split LP with Russian Circles, The second side is Two cover versions and a couple of b-sides. While the third side are the tunes form the bands EP with Harkonen. Lastly the fourth side is the band's first 4 track demo tape.

This bursts out of the speakers with Meet Your Mayor that spits bile at whoever might be mayor and could easily be a howl of anguish at having to suffer the likes of Boris Johnson or Rudy Giuliani as Mayor as the guitars go off and it stops and starts like At The Drive In on a mission to destroy the establishment.

Camera Shy is slow and methodical as the guitars ramp up like they want to go screamo, as they get into why you might be Camera Shy, while living in the world we do today that makes cameras impossible to avoid, keep those videos safe now.

Trix opens like a mid-90's indie rock song before exploding into an anguished screamed section and a slow drum solo breakdown before it gets ready to throw another fit of rage at us. Damn whatever you do don't make this lot any promises you don't intend to keep.

Energy Drink And the Long Walk Home should be heard while downing cans of Relentless as the guitars are exactly that, while this reminds me of Cooper Temple Clause as they do there best to cover there tracks so no one knows why they have been on that energy drink binge.

Heart Shaped Box has dank recorded in a closet vocals, a slow measured drum beat before they tear Nirvana's song apart and re-build it with more tension and a sense that it should sound rougher and nastier than the original did. It also sounds like it would make a mosh pit go totally nuts.

Washburn might be a tribute to Washburn Guitars or it could be about something that happened on Washburn, it's full of rage fueled guitars and pained vocals telling us about the words you won't speak.

Old Paradise has a rather Dream Theatre style guitar part but with vocals that are far more in the style of Cedric Bixla-Zavala, this dives off at several tangents at once, it's complex and a little perplexing.

Payday Loans sets out the terms and rages at the dread and pain of needing them to survive. Hook On This flies into your face like a well placed jab or right hook and the howls of rage vocals, at the pain of being smashed in the face once more, as you've been caught screwing someone else's girlfriend again.

Riding The Grape Dragon (Demo) has howling hurricane guitars and pummel the walls drums with strained and pained vocals as the idea of a grape dragon seeps into your brain. The suddenly you are in the middle of that hurricane marveling at the noise they make.

Run It Through The Dog (Demo) has loads of fury and pain and vocals that fly by mainly un-intelligibly as you'd expect of such a raging hardcore noise song, until it breaks down in the middle and the echo laden drums seem to come to the fore along with some quite proggy keyboards as if the drugs kicked in and everyone’s totally fried and left the guitars up against an amp for a while as they take another toke and then get even more out there and like Steelpole Bathtub totally going for it.

Diggers Of Ditches Everywhere is an ode to hard manual labor of the sort they used to chain people up to do. This is not as greasy as Tav Falco's Ditch Diggin' and the vocals go a bit Thom Yorke which was unexpected as it's like Radiohead trying to make a noise punk song and ending up like early P.I.L. it's a mess of confusion that you need to hear over a few times to let it get right inside you.

The album finishes with The Blue Rose (Demo) that has that At the Drive In meets Cooper Temple Clause style 90's hardcore indie punk thing down to a tee, it must be time to mosh the hell out of the pit, a song to stage dive too before the Wesley Willis style ending with a repeated ident for Watermelon bubblicious.

Find out more at https://thesearmsaresnakes.bandcamp.com/album/duct-tape-shivering-crows https://www.facebook.com/thesearmsaresnakesofficial

  author: simonovitch

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