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These Arms Are Snakes - Tail Swallower and Dove (Cover Artwork)

These Arms Are Snakes

These Arms Are Snakes: Tail Swallower and DoveTail Swallower and Dove (2008)
Suicide Squeeze Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: elliotelliot
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It's getting harder and harder to find new ways of praising These Arms Are Snakes. When a band just tosses out a brilliant album every two years like it's nothing, you start running out of words for what they do. Words like "ethereal" or "stupendous" or even made-up words like "kickassness" come to .
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It's getting harder and harder to find new ways of praising These Arms Are Snakes. When a band just tosses out a brilliant album every two years like it's nothing, you start running out of words for what they do. Words like "ethereal" or "stupendous" or even made-up words like "kickassness" come to mind, for lack of anything that hasn't already been said.

So I'll try to say it without fluffing my language: These Arms Are Snakes fucking rule. They have consistently outdone themselves on every recording, from their 2003 EP This Is Meant to Hurt You and on through the newest, Tail Swallower and Dove. It's amazing to watch a band that is clearly devoted to their craft with everything they have, tweaking and fine-tuning the way they approach music in a way that is never forced or pretentious, no matter what Jello Biafra seems to think of their band name.

TAAS are still staying within their normal musical dimensions, which is more often being described as post-hardcore, probably because it is ridiculously heavy yet nothing close to metal. Ryan Frederiksen's guitar playing revels in piercing hammer-ons, and Brian Cook's bass brings the huge thunder down under it all. The guy played in Botch, so he knows a few things about how to balance out chaos. And TAAS must be feeling good that Chris Common has stayed on as their permanent drummer, because at times he nearly steals the whole show, especially in the harrowing closer "Briggs," with galloping fills that hurt as much as they please. Steve Snere somehow puts himself into the band's songwriting process, doesn't throw his hands up in frustration, and finds a way to make himself a definitive presence. He'll probably never write a song with a clear, direct meaning, and there's no way that's not intentional. He spins tales with lyrics about being strung-up horse meat with an equal dose of forceful screaming and melodic shouting, giving every song ample room to breathe.

If These Arms Are Snakes can continue to be this consistent, it will be an astounding feat. For four guys to come together and bring out such excellent material, and not be the biggest band in the world is just sad. They could easily slack off a little and play to the masses, but they have apparently strapped on their Kickass Shoes, and they're not taking them off.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
These Arms Are Snakes - EasterBrand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside MeThese Arms Are Snakes - Oxeneers or The Lion Sleeps When Its Antelope Go HomeThese Arms Are Snakes - This Is Meant to Hurt YouA Wilhelm Scream - Career SuicideOff With Their Heads - From The BottomCrime in Stereo - I Was Trying to Describe You to SomeoneRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeAFI - All Hallows EPThe Clash - London Calling

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
cheesetits (November 17, 2008)

Score is for the cover art.

mpc (November 17, 2008)

I like this album a lot, probably better than Easter. I haven't heard the first couple. They should get together with Young Widows and play some Jesus Lizard covers.

inagreendase (November 17, 2008)

I like this band, but never been huge on them. Same goes for this album.

Opening riff of the album screams Fugazi probably more than the band ever has.

xote (November 16, 2008)

Good band. Need to hear this record.

greenvandal (November 15, 2008)

It is okay. Certainly nothing spectacular.

homemadebullshit (November 15, 2008)

I think this is one great cd.

thus_spoke_sean (November 15, 2008)

ah, damn my laziness. i really intended to review this. it's pretty good, but not at all great.

R3vengeTherapy (November 15, 2008)


Never liked this band and Minus The Bear is way better. I have a song off their first EP and their first full length and neither do anything for me. Meh.


Aside from the fact that both bands feature members of Botch, I don't think it's really logical to say Minus the Bear is better...they're completely different animals.

I haven't heard this yet, but I plan on doing so.

mikexdude (November 15, 2008)

Really good record.

Score is for the artwork; amazing.

eazyd2 (November 15, 2008)

needs more cowbell.

insinceredave (November 15, 2008)

Great record, one of my fav's of 2008.

The first track is kick ass, it sounds like a hardcore version of the doctor who theme. Well worth a purchase if you like music, but i can't help wonder how they will better it next time round. Each album has been refreshingly different.

ChadReligion (November 15, 2008)

I really liked this record more than Easter... They've obviously established a signature sound for themselves and don't seem so experimental as they had before.... not that it's a bad thing though.

Great record.

billnye (November 14, 2008)

record is decent. but young widows is playing this style of music so much better right now

shanholtzer (November 14, 2008)

best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08 best record of 08

blanktapesemptybottles (November 14, 2008)

why'd they stop recording with Bayles? didn't he add keyboards and such? regardless great record

mattramone (November 14, 2008)

More like COCK SWALLOWER am I right?

tenwestchaser (November 14, 2008)

Never liked this band and Minus The Bear is way better. I have a song off their first EP and their first full length and neither do anything for me. Meh.

Wesley_Snipes (November 14, 2008)

3 stars

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