March 13, 2007
SNAKES AND SCHOOLGIRLS
These Arms Are Snakes slashes its way into Kilby Court tonight
"Angular" is an adjective thrown around ad nauseum when describing post-hardcore bands. It's intended to illustrate the way that the genre's guitar riffs -- championed by the likes of Fugazi and Drive Like Jehu -- often produce discordant sonic tones.
It's a cliché.
These Arms Are Snakes' angularity is anything but cliché. Its angles are so finely sharpened that witnessing a These Arms Are Snakes performance comes off more like a bloody knife fight than an indie-rock show.
Mic-slinger Steve Sneere's quick snarls and haunting shouts ricochet off every drum stand and guitar pedal on stage as his body hurls itself without direction to the jolting riffs of guitarist Ryan Fredrickson.
The acute edges of the duo's screeches assimilate into the perfectly syncopated beats of drummer Chris Common and ground in the guttural lows and atmospheric wails of bassist/keyboardist (as well as ex-member of technical hardcore legend band Botch) Brian Cook.
This interlocking of razor-sharp guitar and vocals with structural rhythms segues into the true beauty of the Snakes: the band's ability to transition from chaotic and technical to eerily subdued.
Easter, the band's second full-length release (out now on legendary indie-pacesetter Jade Tree Records), plays intermediary to These Arms Are Snakes' dueling personalities -- at times plaintive and spaced out in an almost progressive rock direction and at others sadistic and self-destructive, slashing dissonance into its listener.
The Snakes will grace and terrorize Kilby Court tonight alongside equally frenetic Seattle-ites Schoolyard Heroes -- think The Misfits meets No Doubt meets These Arms Are Snakes. Both bands must be seen to be believed.
Daily Utah Chronicle
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