These Arms Are Snakes
I think the word to describe this show would have to be “underwhelmed”.
Due to the Cockpit’s wonderful policy of putting first bands on before anyone gets there (And I suspect before the doors are open) I managed to miss openers Whores Whores Whores. A bit of a shame, but not an insurmountable barrier to an evening of top rock action. I’ve seen them before on a number of occasions and whilst I’ve never been blown away I’ve never been disappointed either.
Main support These Monsters were an interesting proposition. Essentially post metal (Or whatever you want to call it) in the vein of Pelican or Cult of Luna, but with the addition of 70’s porn style Saxophone. Yeah, you know what I mean. In theory this should be quite an intriguing mix, but in practice I found it less than successful whilst the Sax playing was technically great, it didn’t really gel with the rest of the music and I found myself enjoying it the most when the Brass was silent. If the Sax could be integrated more with the post metal sound there could be something worthwhile here, but for the moment it’s simply rather grating.
I’ll admit to having high expectations for These Arms are Snakes. Ex member of Botch + angular post-rock should = rocking good show. Sadly this evening the band didn’t quite add up to the sum of their parts. To start with the sound was fairly bad; the guitar was too low in the mix, which took away a lot of the edge, leaving a rather muddy bass and drum sound to carry the show. I can’t fault These Arms… for enthusiasm, or indeed for musicianship, despite leaping all over the place, they remained tight throughout the set. For the first few songs though the whole affair was lacking that certain indefinable something, with the crowd seeming rather nonplussed. It picked up for the second half, but never really managed to rise above the average. It’s telling that it actually took someone nudging me to notice that the guitarist was actually stood next to me in the crowd playing wirelessly.
There was nothing wrong with the show, just (To coin a cliché) nothing particularly right either. Maybe my jaded ears, veterans of more gigs than I care to remember are simply too choosy, but for me average just doesn’t really cut it.