Expressions like "post-hardcore" and "math rock" are guaranteed headache producers, and the Seattle-based combo These Arms Are Snakes certainly lives up to whatever connotations go along with such terms. Terse, tense and relatively complex, the sound Brian Cook and his cohort create can be both impressive and irritating.
There's no denying the band's instrumental prowess or the urgency that the aforementioned Cook puts into his vocal stylings, but the title of the group's debut (and best album) should tell you all you need to know: Oxeneers or The Lion Sleeps When Its Antelope Go Home came out in 2004 and These Arms Are Snakes has yet to make anything as urgent or as long-winded.
These Arms Are Snakes, dd/mm/yyyy, Broadcast Sea
Fans of Fugazi and Frank Zappa should find common ground in the twists and turns that come along in such songs as "The Shit Sisters" and "Greetings From the Great North Woods." Just take earplugs and Tylenol and everything will be just fine.
Oh, and get there early for Toronto-based experimental act (and just as oddly named) dd/mm/yyyy.