Seattle's These Arms Are Snakes are responsible for one of last year's most exciting debuts, the blistering and elaborate EP This Is Meant to Hurt You. This fall, Jade Tree will unleash the band's full-length follow-up, the enigmatically titled Oxeneers or The Lion Sleeps When Its Antelope Go Home. If last year's offering is any indication, this record is going to be a doozy.
Ryan Frederiksen leads the charge with sizzling layers of guitar fuzzery and hookery, while Steve Snere puts his larynx through the blender and spins Burroughs-esque tales of longing and loathing. Meanwhile, the rhythm section of Brian Cook and Erin Tate (original drummer Joe Preston left before work on the new record began, as did keyboardist Jesse Robertson) plays zone defense against Frederiksen's metallic, mathematical onslaught of riffs and drones. On vinyl, the Snakes -- who sold out their first show ever before releasing more than a demo -- are brutal and beautiful. Onstage, they're relentless. The intricate lasagna of guitar lines that characterize the band's sound is improvised and realized by Frederiksen, with the help of a bevy of pedals. Center stage, Snere bobs and weaves like a punch-drunk prizefighter or a plain-drunk panhandler as he puts his voice through its paces. The overall effect is at once exhilarating and mesmerizing. Lose sleep. Call in sick. Do whatever you've got to do, but make sure you see this show.