Thursday, April 7, 2011

These Arms are Snakes - 2008 Tail Swallower And Dove

Band : These Arms are Snakes
Album : Tail Swallower And Dove
Release Year : 2008
Genre : Post-Hardcore | Experimental

Tracklist :
01. Woolen Heirs
02. Prince Squid
03. Red Line Season
04. Lucifer
05. Ethric Double
06. Seven Curtains
07. Long and Lonely Step
08. Lead Beater
09. Cavity Carousel
10. Briggs

The cordial reception of Tail Swallower and Dove is unlike the typical experimental These Arms Are Snakes album. That’s not to say this record isn’t as unique and interesting as the bands past work, however on Dove, there is a new side of the band that has been hinted at on anything they’ve ever done together. The accessible potential of These Arms music was hardly utilized in the past – some fans may claim this was for the better, but I think there is a certain beauty in music that can both pertain to an original style and simultaneously reach out to new fans. With songs such as ‘Prince Squid’, ‘Lucifer’, ‘Lead Beater’ and ‘Seven Curtains’ Tail Swallower and Dove accesses These Arms powerful ability to create something that could very well pave the way for an entirely new musical mentality.

Emotional and brooding as Oxeneers or the Lion Sleeps…, yet melodic and rocky as Easter Tail Swallower will situate you with a fantastic summary of the music on this album. In tracks one through three we will hear qualities of cathartic art present in the infectious guitar line on ‘Red Line Season’ as much as it is within the harmonious chanting on the opening track ‘Woolen Heirs’. Conforming to nothing, These Arms Are Snakes expertly feel their way through a genre all their own; the album’s most notable aspect is its tendency to evolve through its own songs, as in the first few tracks we hear an ambitious yet combustible style that attacks and soothes, can be danced to and can be played in the middle of the night in a dark room to ease yourself to sleep.

Speaking of evolution through the songs, the album manages to sprinkle progressive rock into its steaming cauldron of styles. ‘Ethric Double’ is one of the best songs I have heard all of 2008 for one, and secondly it explains why These Arms had the desire to work on something with such varying musicality. The progressive intentions flow well, they put the instrumental abilities of this band on the forefront and the band absolutely slays. Imagine the song ‘Idaho’ from Oxeneers sporting a far more intense take on Easter’s hard-hitting style. The song will caress your ears with pounding power chords as well as luscious, complex instrumental flow.

These Arms Are Snakes are well-known for their unique utilization of KORG products in their songs, which is greatly toned down on this record but still sets an extra-terrestrial mood for songs like ‘Lead Beater’ (perhaps one of the worst songs and still it perfected the nonchalant delivery of progressive tendencies) and ‘Lucifer’. ‘Lucifer’ is a highly recommended track if you are looking to get into the more aggressively entertaining side of this album and it may be the bait that hooks you into These Arms new world.
On an album that seems so well executed it is certainly tough to speak ill of it, however if it were perfect I believe it would have received far more recognition. As I said, this album is far more accessible than anything the group has ever done – but a band as intricate as These Arms Are Snakes must make sacrifices in order to record something like that. Instead of engaging the listener in a more insightful journey into the minds of the band, Tail Swallower mopes about the outskirts of intellectual music, preferring to be quite abrupt and menacing.

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