Monday, December 15, 2008

These Arms Are Snakes w/ Trap Them and The Narrows @ the Bottom of the Hill 12/14

These Arms Are Snakes play I guess what could be annoyingly termed post-hardcore. The sound is dense and muscular; technical but virile; mathy but not too much- algebra rather than calculus. Kinda Similar to Refused.

The band is headed by vocalist Steve Snere, a skinny, tight clothed hipster looking dude (the resemblance to my neighbor is uncanny) with ragged blond hair, bushy mutton chops and a serious mustache. And on stage he is just insane. Channeling Iggy Pop at times- complete with masochism via broken glass- he manically thrashes about like an epileptic marionette. Mumbling nearly incoherent bad jokes between songs with a draw that is part Elvis and part Hunter S Thompson; his vocal style is screamy, yet somewhat musical in an Alice Cooper kind of way; not the unintelligible growl of a typical metal front man. He uses a chaos pad to further freak it out- screaming into the box while applying effects like ring modulation, causing his voice to twist and stutter.

Here is a clip from different show. The sound and image quality are dodgy but you can get an idea of how mental Snere is.

The rest of the band was appropriately awesome! Producer/drummer Chris Common is fucking amazing. And guitarist/keyboardist Ryan Fredriksen is a virtuoso, providing melodic counter point to the onslaught. Serious chops all around.

Opening bands The Narrows and Trap Them were both good, playing fairly middle of the road hardcore that got the crowd primed.

Bizarrely the interim music between bands was 50's and 60's soul. My friend Dalan remarked that it was like pickled ginger- cleansing our sonic palettes after each course for maximum effect.

Thank you Kareem and Dalan for a great night. Cheers!

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