Duct Tape & Shivering Crows: These Arms Are Snakes Announce Rarities Release

These Arms Are Snakes
Photo by Robin Laananen.

Over the course of their seven-year run back in the ‘00s, These Arms Are Snakes covered a lot of territory, both in terms of actual miles spent on the road and in terms of their creative bandwidth. Though the band was often mistaken for a typical non sequitur-named screamo outfit or another “animal” indie band, the Seattle group quickly defied expectations and garnered a reputation for subverting the popular underground sounds of time.

These Arms Are Snakes cultivated a small but fervent fanbase across multiple continents with their signature combination of synth-infused noise rock, bad-trip psychedelia, flamboyant proto-metal boogie, and unhinged basement-show hardcore before imploding at the end of 2009. And while their full-length albums remain fitting testaments to the band’s frantic urgency and stylistic fluidity, there is a treasure trove of deep cuts buried on b-sides and split releases that further reinforce their position as one of the weirdest and wildest acts of the decade. For the first time, those rarities and one-offs have been compiled into a cohesive overview of These Arms Are Snakes’ lifespan on the double LP Duct Tape & Shivering Crows, set for release on April 15th on Suicide Squeeze (pre-order here).

The collection’s track listing runs in reverse chronological order, starting with one of These Arms Are Snakes’ final recordings.  The remainder of side A is comprised of the band’s songs from their split LP with Russian Circles, including “Camera Shy” which premieres today.  The track showcases a throbbing, locked-in, and heavily punctuated rhythm section garnished with delay-drenched guitar leads—as if Jesus Lizard binged on King Crimson’s Red

Side B of Duct Tape & Shivering Crows contains two covers and two b-sides, while side C is dedicated to These Arms Are Snakes’ songs from their collaborative EP with Harkonen released on Hydra Head Records in 2004. Side D takes listeners back to the band’s first demo: four woozy and noise-addled amalgams of math rock and post-punk that would later be polished up for their debut EP.

Taken as an overview of These Arms Are Snakes’ career, Duct Tape & Shivering Crows is an exhilarating study of the band’s sonic evolution, varied musical approaches, and consistent quality. Taken without the historical context or typical considerations for a compilation album, it’s still a cohesive and enthralling record with an arc that takes you from the razor-sharp refinement of their final years through the adrenalized prog-punk explorations of their mid-career work and ultimately ramps up to the narcotic frenzy of their earliest material. 

Look for Duct Tape & Shivering Crows to be available on CD, cassette, digital formats, and 2xLP on April 15th and stay tuned for more news and music coming soon.

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