These Arms Are Snakes, Mouth of the Architect, The North Atlantic

Is "happy hard-core" on its way out? We can only hope, but first we will need a few good angry men such as These Arms Are Snakes. As part of the emergent clan of art-laden hard-core groups like those found on the Hydrahead label, this Seattle troupe believes in texture and complexity behind the full-steam aggression. Happily, on their sophomore Jade Tree effort Easter, they leave more open spaces than some of their dense-to-a-fault compadres. Their tour mates from Ohio, Mouth of the Architect, fall into a more deliberate, and ultimately more satisfying, "ambient metal" vortex similar to that of the stellar Isis. San Diego's the North Atlantic carry on that town's longstanding herky-jerky artpunk tradition, and the evening starts with slinky and tense Denton locals Handbrake.
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Michael Chamy

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