These Arms Are Snakes

w/Cobra High, Charming Snakes

Sat Jan 18, Chop Suey, 9 pm, $6.

No one can argue with the fact that Seattle's music scene is currently experiencing a pile-driven network of talent and creativity that hasn't been so physically evident since the Hype! days. In this city that broke Mudhoney and Nirvana, rock--loud, heavy, and hard--will always reign supreme. But a definite trend toward more complicated kinds of rock--largely influenced by the canorous underbelly of defunct hardcore band Botch, as well as Pitchfork and Drive Like Jehu--is moving to the forefront, and suddenly, smart rock is actually fun. Rooted firmly in hardcore and math, and grafted to mid-'90s emo like Boys Life and Braid, smart rock has transcended its music geek limitations to become an accessible, viable faction of our prevailing music community, and These Arms Are Snakes is quickly claiming a stake.

Fronted by former Kill Sadie singer Steve Snere, These Arms Are Snakes is cobbled from a hodgepodge of members of defunct hardcore bands such as Deadlock (drummer Joe Preston), Nine Iron Spitfire (guitarist Ryan Frederiksen), and yes, Botch (bassist Brian Cook). Snere lucked out by replacing Kill Sadie's singer, landing him in Seattle in the first place. "Kill Sadie moved from Minneapolis to Seattle four years ago," he says. "Thank God they got sick of Minneapolis and moved here, because I finally got out of Iowa."

In the face of such a musical reawakening, Snere feels privileged to join Seattle's blossoming arena. "I think it's really exciting right now, because for a minute [the music scene] kinda died when Botch and Murder City Devils broke up. Now there's a bunch of great new bands like Minus the Bear and Cobra High rising up. At first it was a little intimidating to be stepping into that ring, but now I don't even think about it."

Once the band's demo was leaked, These Arms Are Snakes became a hotly anticipated live debut. Tonight marks their third show, and they're in fine company, opening a bill that demonstrates just how inspired rock has become. Again.