These Arms Are Snakes To Release Rarities Compilation “Duct Tape & Shivering Crows”

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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 album, Duct Tape & Shivering Crows, that is set for release on April 15th on Suicide Squeeze Records.

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 lead, 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. 

You can pre-order Duct Tape & Shivering Crows & stream Camera Shy here