These Arms Are Snakes, Darker My Love, All the Saints | Subterranean | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

These Arms Are Snakes, Darker My Love, All the Saints Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Feb. 28, 9:30 p.m. 2009

When Seattle posthardcore stalwarts Botch disbanded in 2002, guitarist Dave Knudson formed Minus the Bear, who released a relentlessly hooky EP and an equally strong album before falling off their game. Botch bassist Brian Cook started These Arms Are Snakes and similarly struck gold with the band’s first two releases, the EP This Is Meant to Hurt You and the album Oxeneers or the Lion Sleeps When Its Antelope Go Home—triumphs of angular riffage, guttural bass rumble, and flailing, urgent drumming. But TAAS haven’t kept it up either: on 2006’s Easter and last year’s Tail Swallower and Dove (Suicide Squeeze), the raw growl is replaced by a more polished sound. Cook (also now in Russian Circles) and guitarist Ryan Frederiksen still play inventive licks and get creative with tone colors, but the music is just good, not great—the organ and electronics that once provided clever accents now muzzle the songs’ bite, and singer Steve Snere is getting fancier than anyone with a voice as scratchy and dry as his really should. Darker My Love and All the Saints open. —Kevin Warwick

Price: $10

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