These Arms Are Snakes – Tail Swallower and Dove
2008 – Suicide Squeeze
You know, I like math rock. I’ve come to terms with it. That particular taste is largely a product of my age and the kind of music that was popular when I was record shopping every weekend and buying the CDs of every single band my band ever played with or every show I saw. Though I haven’t listened to them in a while, The Owls were fairly big in my musical sights in the early 2000s, as were Cap’n Jazz, Battles, and to a lesser extent, Don Caballero. Looking back on it now, those were much more earnest musical times, or at least what I saw was, and I may have missed a lot.
Anyway, I’ve bought all of TAAS’s albums, but I haven’t liked any of them as much as I like this latest, unexpected (by me, anyway) release. Math rock (well, lots of music from the early 2000s) is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. My husband is something of a rock purist and has no patience for instrumental music or complicated mathy noisy stuff. Though I dno’t define my musical tastes based on his, I do respect his musical knowledge and opinions, so I’ve been harbouring kind of a guilty affection for math rock, which, I’m now thinking, Husband would say sounds “emo.”
Anyway, Tail Swallower and Dove brings me back to those days when I was just starting to really figure out the music scene outside of my hometown but under the radio radar. There are mathy breakdowns and strange time signatures, but they don’t sound requisite in this record; instead they sound like a fond memory, and I like ’em. TAAS use electronic noises and guitar loops to achieve some almost industrial-sounding sonic backgrounds and then throw distorted vocals and hooky, odd-signatured guitar riffs into the mix, and the whole thing just makes me incredibly nostalgic in a way I’m having a hard time really explaining in any kind of effective way. Sorry.
So, where TAAS’s firt album was a bit noisy for me, and their second was a bit industrial-sounding, this latest album hits it just right for me. Take a listen!