Tail Swallower And Dove
(Suicide Squeeze Records)

Late with a write-up yet again. Yup, that’s me. It’s not really my fault though. I’ve never been the kind of person that can ingest a record after two listens. I like to explore, and I take my time doing it. But it’s been a little over a two months now since I got the new These Arms Are Snakes, so I think I’m good to go.

Early in the fall of this year, These Arms Are Snakes released their third full-length album, Tail Swallower And Dove on Suicide Squeeze Records. And this timing was pretty important to the content of the record. These Arms Are Snakes isn’t a summertime band. Well, maybe they are. But their music is definitely not. It’s cold, transitional and sinister in subtle ways. It is, without a doubt, music for not only the night, but music to brace oneself against change with. So I listened to this record a lot throughout the fall, almost exclusively at night. The leaves fell to the ground, the days got shorter and this record helped me understand the encroaching darkness and slippery slope down a cold path just a little bit more. I know that might sound hokey, but it’s the truth.

In terms of the music, it kills. The band is even tighter than it already was, and their brand of experimental post-hardcore has become slightly more atmospheric than earlier releases. Though there are still awesomely frantic, blistering tracks throughout the record, these are balanced against some deep, epic, almost Isis-influenced tracks. (My favorite would be ‘Ethric Double.’ It fu*king kills.) And then there are the effects. TAAS have been known in the past to lean towards an experimental tendency, and that’s been turned up a few notches on the latest record. I won’t go into the details though; I would hope some of you just go out, buy the record and listen to it on some really good headphones.

But I’m done just yet. On TAAS’s last record Easter, the album closes with two +8-minute long, tear out your heart epic tales of lost love, anger and pure, unadulterated pain. Even though that was over two years ago, the themes explored by TAAS have not gotten any lighter. But these guys don’t just espouse upon a topic or offer commentary; they jump headfirst into the rigors of life and anthropologize from the inside out. To the listener, it could be either cathartic or therapeutic. And I think that’s the great strength of These Arms Are Snakes. They might not realize it, but they’ve got some of life’s real answers cryptically hidden in their music. Which again, is why I’d encourage you to go buy the record and listen to it on some good headphones. It’s cheaper than a therapist…

To stream selections from These Arms Are Snakes, check their MySpace page here.


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