Over the course of their seven-year run in the early aughts, 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 These Arms Are Snakes’ 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, which is out today on Suicide Squeeze Records
In celebration of its release, These Arms Are Snakes have unveiled a visualizer for the album’s propulsive third single “The Blue Rose (Demo).” This never-before-heard version of the song that originally appeared on 2003’s This Is Meant to Hurt You, “The Blue Rose (Demo)” offers a snapshot of the band at their apex and stands the test of time with a new video treatment by Documavision.
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. If you were a These Arms Are Snakes fan back in the day, this is a crucial addition to your library. And even if you were a dilettante or a naysayer, this collection serves as an exciting recontextualization of a band that was often misunderstood and misrepresented by the media. Suicide Squeeze Records is proud to release Duct Tape & Shivering Crows to the world on CD, cassette, digital formats, and 2xLP today.