These Arms Are Snakes, Trap Them, Narrows (Chop Suey) To my mind, the best thing These Arms Are Snakes ever did was buy that first Kaoss Pad back around 2003. (Full disclosure: TAAS bassist Brian Cook has written for The Stranger.) On their debut EP and parts of their first full-length, frontman Steve Snere's screams and shouts were smeared across the sonic field, doubled back on themselves, distorted and modulated and distended beyond recognition, made instrumental rather than lyrical. It was a claustrophobic sound as menacingly psychedelic as it was technically hardcore, and it suggested a lot of untapped possibilities. (It was also a fun live trick, although Snere and company are more than antic enough onstage without it.) The band still indulge some disorienting dub tendencies, but with this year's Tail Swallower and Dove, TAAS have settled into more standard though still searingly executed post-hardcore. I just miss the overwhelming bad-trip vibe of their early days. ERIC GRANDY
Regarding TAAS's relationship with the above mentioned Korg Kaoss Pad, bassist and Stranger writer Brian Cook says:
Steve actually currently rocks two of 'em. He's phased them in and out of the act throughout the years due to them breaking or getting lost/stolen and him rarely having money to replace them.
So perhaps some of that preview is needlessly past-tense (although, the last time I checked in with the band, they must've been broke/broken, because they were sans pad). Additionally, last night, friend and Line Out commenter Lee texted:
TAAS had the KP2. The KP1 came out around '99.
He didn't add, "...dumbass," but it was kind of implied, to which I would rejoin, "nerd." And now you know everything there is to know about These Arms Are Snakes and the Kaoss Pad.