These Arms Are Snakes
Easter


4.0
excellent

Review

by GleamInRanks USER (16 Reviews)
June 24th, 2007 | 23 replies | 10,038 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An excellent release from These Arms are Snakes that uses occasionally complex rhythms and tight musicianship to pull it all together.

To assign post-hardcore a definite sound is nearly impossible. The genre is notorious for encompassing a very wide array of bands, ranging from the effect laden guitar passages of the abrasive Glassjaw to the reverberated tones of the increasingly popular Thursday. Post-hardcore is also a genre that seems to have evolved with the times. Fugazi's early releases taught us the meaning of octave chords and At the Drive-In took the genre to a different level of experimentation, courtesy of their guitarist, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. One thing is clear though, post-hardcore contains some of the most energetic bands of any genre. Formed after the influential demises of bands such as Botch and Kill Sadie, These Arms are Snakes certainly take an interesting approach to the genre of post-hardcore. These Arms are Snakes eloquently combine influences and previous efforts that equate to a fresh sound. The rhythmically proficient and complex songs of These Arms are Snakes' second full length album, Easter, could easily be traced back to Botch's exclusion of basic time signatures while the incorporation of electronic elements add a layer to this band that is not seen in many other acts playing a similar style of music. Even at a glance, Easter is an aggressive album that relies on the exceptionally tight musicianship of the band. TAAS have the ability to cleverly hide their technical prowess under the curtain of fun, energetic songs that could easily be liked by anyone who enjoys rock music.

Starting out with the painfully obvious observation, these guys know how to play their instruments. This isn't some riff fest either, but there is a handful of those too. "Horse Girl" immediately displays These Arms are Snakes' knack for writing intertwining guitar passages. The guitar and bass play off of each other seamlessly in a riot of riffing. Throughout the entire song, the bass is out-playing the already impressive guitar, but calling the bass playing flashy would be dead wrong. Many of the passages Brian Cook (bassist, ex-Botch) writes fit the songs incredibly well, to the point of being scary. A certain song that caught my attention was "Subtle Body". While the guitarist, Ryan Frederiksen, dabbles in playing delayed, high-pitched notes and using feedback intelligently, Cook shifts from playing an impressive, fast-paced riff to a danceable and articulate groove (try not to tap your foot). But to vary the song yet again, he begins an arpeggiated progression that somehow sounds relaxed.

The synth that is included on "Coporeal" give the laid-back track a Pink Floyd-esque tone. Chris Commons (drummer) shines on this track not because of insanely complicated rhythms but because he gives an almost psychedelic atmosphere to the track, along with the synth playing, utilizing his cymbals very effectively. Right before the main riff from "Abracadabraca" becomes exhaustingly over played, the band proceed to have a subtle synth and effect breakdown in 5/4 timing. Every song on Easter offers something different than the one before it. The fluctuating tones and sounds on each track add a variety to every song. "Desert Ghost" has the same sort of lofty ambience that was established on "Coporeal" but instead of the relaxed feeling "Coporeal" provides, "Desert Ghost" has an unnerving mood to it. The only predictable aspect of the album is the vocals, provided by Steve Snere, but this certainly does not mean that they are bad by any means. Rarely do the vocals venture outside of an snarling shout. Snere's barking always feels fitting towards each song but it would have been great if more of a range was present. Definitely edgy, the vocals do add a sort of aggression to each song with the added perk of a rapid fire delivery.

On the entire album there was only minuet problem that I could find. When These Arms Are Snakes plunge themselves into the aforementioned experimental sections of the album, they all start to sound a bit similar in their presentation and style. Most of these passages have the synth playing some sort of progression while the guitar turns up his delay and slides around the higher end of his guitar. Also, the bass is always minimal in these parts, which was disappointing because he generally has his own rhythm going. But to call the experimental sections sub-par would be crazy. Overall, Easter is an impressive release from These Arms are Snakes. The variety found on the album is superb and all the songs feel unpredictable. Recommended to those of you who enjoy post-hardcore to its fullest extent or are just beginning to listen to the diverse genre.



Recent reviews by this author
Rosetta Wake/LiftSnapcase Progression Through Unlearning
Converge Petitioning the Empty SkyPelican City of Echoes
Ion Dissonance Minus the HerdSparklehorse Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain
user ratings (161)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 24th 2007



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Great work, I'm glad someone reviewed this. It's a great album and they kick ass live.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
June 25th 2007



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

NUTSACK. I was about to review this.

pixiesfanyo
June 25th 2007



1223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pretty weak compared to their other material in my opinion.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
June 25th 2007



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think "Deer Lodge" is one of their best songs ever though.

GleamInRanks
June 25th 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really? Do you prefer Oxeneers or their EP?

I was going to include "Deer Lodge" in the review but I couldn't really find the words to describe it. Sooner or later I might. Oh, review it if you were going to. I'm sure your review would absolutely slay mine.This Message Edited On 06.25.07

pixiesfanyo
June 25th 2007



1223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The EP and Oxeneers are both fabulous.

DeadToPain
June 25th 2007



694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"This Is Meant To Hurt You" is just a hook, it brings you up to this band. Everything they have ever released is beyond description. Yours does well though. "Subtle Body" is amazing it's my number one on my i-tunes. Everything they do in my book is amazing. Yes, I am a fanboy!

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 25th 2007



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

The singer is so cool. He's pretty much the scrawniest guy I've ever seen but he belts it out so hard.

GleamInRanks
June 25th 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks everybody. So is the mp3 link of "Horse Girl" from a live show or something?

AlienEater
June 26th 2007



716 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really like this, but the other stuff is better

cbmartinez
June 27th 2007



2525 Comments


Yeah, Gleam In Ranks I wondered the same thing. It doesn't sound live but it definitely sucks.

I'm pretty much gonna say what everyone else has. 1) I think I'm going to review this 2) Very solid album with some incredibly tight riffs, I mean I think the intro to "Horse Girl" is one of the coolest blends of instruments ever. "Subtle Body" is probably my favorite TAAS song, the song is so amazing. 3) This may be more technically advanced and varied than Oxeneers, but Oxeneers' use of simple riffs repeated over gives it this incredibly catchy and groovy feel at times.

Saw this band live with Cursive and Against Me! They were great. As Andrew said, the singer is nuts. At one point, he removed his belt, tied it around his neck and was asphyxiating himself as he sang.

GleamInRanks
June 27th 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

1) I think I'm going to review this

Do it up. Speaking of which, I should probably add more to mine. I watched some videos on youtube and the singer is pretty crazy.

cbmartinez
June 27th 2007



2525 Comments


Yeah, just to put my spin on it. I like your review a lot though, maybe I'll just do Oxeneers.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
June 27th 2007



16071 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They were insane live with Cursive et all.
I like Oxeneers more than this, but its still a very good album

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
June 27th 2007



4925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I started one for Oxeneers, but after a paragraph I didn't know what to write. I'm shocked it's taken this long for either this album or oxeneers to be reviewed.

Mirror.Circuit
August 29th 2007



223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Horse Girl's guitar line is fucking sweet.

cbmartinez
August 29th 2007



2525 Comments


hell yeah, it's mad easy but the way it works with the bass, so good

Mirror.Circuit
September 14th 2007



223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a band I want to come to nebraska.
I'd love to see these guys live.
I bet they rule in person.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
November 6th 2007



4925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

these arms are SNAKES ON A PLANE
great album. It's good once every two months or so.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2010



17114 Comments


underrated as fuck

Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy