These Arms Are Snakes | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

These Arms Are Snakes

This Is Meant To Hurt You
Jade Tree

It might come as something of a surprise to alt-rock trend-watchers that New York is not the only city experiencing a post-punk resurgence just now. Seattle, believe it or not, has been back on the map for a good two or three years, and although the noise coming out of the Pacific Northwest is a bit angrier and more dissonant than that of the Strokes/Rapture/Interpol variety, it's also, I would argue, more original, and therefore more relevant. You're unlikely to see the members of These Arms Are Snakes, for instance, vamping between the covers of a Details magazine anytime soon, although their music is just as tight and blood-boiling as anything currently coming out of a Williamsburg warehouse.


The sound of This Is Meant To Hurt You lives somewhere between the anarchic noise of a spazzcore band and the textured, precise guitar music of a math-rock record. Essentially, this is post-hardcore by old-timers who can actually play their instruments, and the effect is both pleasingly introspective and sonically overwhelming. Make no mistake: This is loud, often experimental art rock. But halfway through the EP, on "Diggers of Ditches Everywhere," TAAS lay down a slow bass line that could have come straight from a more free-from, jazz-influenced band like Dianogah or Sharks Keep Moving (who are also from Seattle). 


The general trend, though, seems to be cathartic anger. It's tense and precise throughout, and if it were played too loud, this album probably would hurt you.

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