These Arms Are Snakes
Oxeneer or the Lion Sleeps While its Antelope Go Home
/jade tree; 2005/







more info:
www.thesearmsaresnakes.com

Seattle based These Arms Are Snakes’ debut ep This Is Meant to Hurt You was so astonishing that at first I was disappointed by their first long play released September 2003. I thought it was repetitive compared to the ep. Where starts the limit between cohesion and over-duration ?? I guess it depends on your state of mind when you listen to the album…

If you have not listened to their debut ep, let’s specify that you have to like bands like Fugazi to like These Arms Are Snakes. Fugazi’s shadow undeniably darkens the album’s idiosyncrasy but there is another Dischord band which seems to arise from its ashes here: Q And Not U. You may not share my opinion but I think their last two albums pale in comparison to their first one, No Kill No Beep Beep, which is excellent. Well, if you like this album, just check ‘Big News’ or ‘Darling of New Midnight’. The latter’s staccato riff being really enjoyable. The ones who miss At the Drive-in should also give this album a shot, especially ‘La Stanza Bianca’.

All things considered, great tracks in Oxeneer… make up for its flaws. ‘Gadget Arms’ is a long prog-hardcore sort of track reminiscent of Cave-in (though it rings a nice Trail of Dead bell from time to time) but you soon forget it when ‘Greetings from the great North’ starts and makes you bop the head like a Fugazi song, circa Red Medicine and End Hits. Its vocal canon-style ending is really nice.

‘Angela’s secret’ and ‘Big News’ really nod in the direction of The Shape of Punk to Come by Refused, the best hardcore album ever made in my opinion. I don’t whether this is the direction These Arms Are Snakes intend to take, but if it is, it may be excellent…

‘Big News’ is the track in which all the influences collide but which paradoxically seems the most singular, the most These Arms Are Snakes-like, if you will. Too bad the singer does not sing in this almost crooner style more often…

Oxeneer… might not be the best album released in 2004 but it probably is the best post-hardcore or whatever you want to call it album released in 2004… To be honest I first downloaded the album but soon purchased it… and if it does not fulfil what we expected after their amazing debut ep, it might pave the way for a sensational album…

-SEB ‘greetings from the north’ WOOd.

Ps: If you like the great way they use the moog-keyboard, my advice is to listen to Glamoroso by French band Loisirs…

/jan 15th 2005/