BioSeattle's These Arms are Snakes, formed from the ashes of seminal art thrashers Botch and Minneapolis hardcore heroes Kill Sadie, are fast-becoming an integral part of the Pacific Northwest's dynamic musical fabric. Once the band's demo leaked into the scene's sinewy underground, buzz began to spread like wildfire and with good reason. Busting out heavy artillery that's thick with tension but energized by the same threads of punchy fervor that defined late '80s D.C. Punk, TAAS' heavy stylings remain informed, but not completely saturated. There's a newness to the Snakes; a maturity that shows itself alongside the bands' lack of requisite hardcore game face.
Seasoned but hardly weathered road warriors, TAAS' live show is nothing short of astounding. Bombastic. Fun. Explosive. The way it should be. "The current state of Seattle's scene is amazing," explains vocalist Steve Snere. "We feel privileged to be a part of it all. We also have the fortune of being able to play with just about all of (the diversified bands we respect here), so we're currently not being lumped into one specific scene." Indeed, TAAS has shared bills with everyone from tappy rock architects Minus the Bear and the vicious, assaulting Blood Brothers to wall-of-sound giants like Jucifer and Milemarker, championing every pairing seamlessly.
The Snakes may slither from scene to scene, but their presence isn't unnoticed. With every show, new fans are gained and existing ones are consistently surprised with the band's growth. "We're consistently growing through our writing process," Snere says. "We're still figuring out how each other works musically, so it's been an extremely exciting year so far. We're trying not to root ourselves into any specific genre as we all come from similar backgrounds, but fairly different ideas of these backgrounds." It's the meshing of concept, feel and energy from each member's rich history that gives the Snakes their signature tone. Masterfully drawing what they wish from their past, they're able to thrust forward while simultaneously escaping from the post-post ghetto.
The discerning selection process employed in the collection of songs for the band's debut EP for Jade Tree, This Is Meant to Hurt You, has resulted in a whip-smart introduction to the Snakes' angular, driving power. "We've probably dropped about as many songs as we've written," Snere muses. The EP glistens with moist, ethereal tones that are grounded through hammering, persistent percussion, an unstoppable inertia and infectious, swelling energies that are at once insistent, taut and jagged enough to slice open every searing progression. Every guitar onslaught and drum clack was expertly captured by Matt Bayles (Isis, Blood Brothers) at Seattle's Avast in an astonishing five days. "Matt is a great engineer/producer and knows exactly where we're coming from as far as how we wanted it to sound and be presented," notes Snere. The synthesis between band and engineer really shines; TAAS ain't no scruffs. They're ready to hit the road and be seen.