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These Arms Are Snakes - Oxeneers or the Lion Sleeps... Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 9.5
Lyrics 10
Production 9.5
Creativity 9
Lasting Value 9.5
Reviewer Tilt 9
Final Verdict: 93%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.33
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 8.5
Production 8.83
Creativity 9.42
Lasting Value 9.17
Reviewer Tilt 8.83
Average: 89%
Inside AP.net

These Arms Are Snakes - Oxeneers or the Lion Sleeps...

Reviewed by: Adam Pfleider (05/18/08)
These Arms Are Snakes - Oxeneers or the Lion Sleeps When Its Antelope Go Home
Record Label: Jade Tree Records
Release Date: September 21, 2004


In high school, bands like Thursday, Thrice, and Poison the Well were like gateway drugs to a more jazzercised post-hardcore scene. I would say without These Arms Are Snakes' This is Meant to Hurt You or The Blood Brothers' Burn Piano Island, Burn, I probably wouldn't have had a four year college radio show.

Oxeneers or the Lion Sleeps When Its Antelope Go Home was one of those few records that I saw so much greatness in, but took me a few months to indulge in and appreciate. But in terms of Coalesce, it was a "revolution in just listening."

The album blends the jazz-like antics of This is Meant to Hurt You with heavy dance-like guitar riffs mixed with a synth-aftertaste. "The Shit Sisters" defines the sound of These Arms Are Snakes and begins the album, able to encapsulate even the most bored at ear. As singer Steve Snere preaches about big industry, his band starts and stops on all the right beats and arranges itself perfectly then fazes out and transitions into "Angela's Secret."

"Tracing" is a small interlude into the album's ballad, "Your Pearly Whites." Don't expect this one to hit the Monster Ballads compilation though. The band displays their ability to build and get the listener excited to only deconstruct everything in the end by switching melodic rhythms to a simple breakdown.

"Gadget Arms" is eight minutes of bliss. Bob Ross used to put trees and clouds where he wanted, and this track is the same basic concept. It is a blank canvas where the band does the same, with every member putting their individual sounds where they want them, for a specific reason. The back beat may be the simplest, but it allows Ryan Frederiksen room to create and put that tiny tree on the landscape that only he and the listener will pick up on.

"Greetings from the Great North Woods," "Big News," and "Darlings of the New Midnight" are the weak points of the album. They still show off the band's great rock style and are inlined to the 80s British post-punk throwback, but they lack some of the energy of other brighter tracks.

"La Stanza Bianca" sounds like it belongs on Kill Sadie's Experiments in Expectation, and it keeps the listener entangled in the album between "Greetings from the Great North Woods" and "Darlings of the New Midnight." The track displays the beautiful struggle between These Arms Are Snakes' ability to just play simple rock, great repetitive guitar, and keyboard riffs and still have a bit of fun at getting crazy.

"Oxeneer" is a spoken word interlude into a great closer that compliments its opener. "Idaho" sums up either Snere's feelings of life ("The beast prays on its employees and eats on their summer's harvested fruit / The lion sleeps when its antelope go home"), or relationships ("You stole all my love, and now I want it back!"), or even both ("May your lips never touch your timecard again"). Like "Drinking from the Necks of the Ones You Love," "Idaho" is a closer that builds relentlessly, with each musician sounding like they want to tear apart the composition of the piece before destroying their instruments, Snere's vocal chords included.

Oxeneers or the Lions Sleeps When Its Antelope Go Home will take time to sink in for new listeners, and for post-hardcore fans it should be the next step after Kill Sadie's Experiments in Expectation but just before Bear vs. Shark's Terrorhawk. Even if These Arms Are Snakes never have a large fan base, the one that they do have should appreciate such a fine work as this album.

Recommended if You LikeKill Sadie - Experiments in Expectation, Bear vs. Shark - Terrorhawk, The Blood Brothers - Crimes

myspace.com/thesearmsaresnakes
 
Displaying posts 1 - 5 of 5
02:35 PM on 05/26/08
#2
tm decomposer
KEMBA WALKER 4 PREZ!!
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Good review.
06:19 PM on 05/26/08
#3
im_john_galt
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well deserved review- and long awaited. i don't post much on absolutepunk, but this kind of album encourages me to jump right into the lions den. thank you for a great review. my only criticism is that right from the beginning i see a major influence from at the drive in- i wish it would carry through until the end.
02:31 PM on 06/27/09
#4
OKComputer1016
this is success-this is how we feel
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well deserved review- and long awaited. i don't post much on absolutepunk, but this kind of album encourages me to jump right into the lions den. thank you for a great review. my only criticism is that right from the beginning i see a major influence from at the drive in- i wish it would carry through until the end.
awesome review. im_john_galt, i totally get where you'd see this album as not entirely consistent. i would probably agree. it's great but 93% is probably a little high. i'd recommend to both of you that you check out the last two These Arms Are Snakes albums though. they're way better.
12:09 PM on 10/07/09
#5
live4music
Digitally Bathing
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I attempted to review Tail Swallower and Dove but didn't b/c I had too hard of a time describing the sound of TAAS and I must say great job man! I'd say 93% is right where it should be.
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