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CROWS

These Arms Are Snakes

Duct Tape & Shivering Crows

    Over the course of their seven-year run back in the ‘00s, These Arms Are Snakes covered a lot of territory, both in terms of actual miles spent on the road and in terms of their creative bandwidth. Though the band was often mistaken for a typical non sequitur-named screamo out­t or another “animal” indie band, the Seattle group quickly de­ed expectations and garnered a reputation for subverting the popular underground sounds of time. The group cultivated a small but fervent fanbase across multiple continents with their signature combination of synth-infused noise rock, bad-trip psychedelia, ‑amboyant proto-metal boogie, and unhinged basement-show hardcore before imploding at the end of 2009.

    And while These Arms Are Snakes’ full-length albums remain ­tting testaments to the band’s frantic urgency and stylistic ‑uidity, there is a treasure trove of deep cuts buried on b-sides and split releases that further reinforce their position as one of the weirdest and wildest acts of the decade. For the fi­rst time, those rarities and one-offs have been compiled into a cohesive overview of These Arms Are Snakes’ lifespan on the double LP Duct Tape & Shivering Crows.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: The inimitable TAAS return for a final outing of lesser-publicised extras and b-sides. With every bit of the grinding groove of their earlier full-length LP's, this collection shows what an incendiary and unique musical force they were, and shows off some of the tragically overlooked gems from their oeuvre.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Meet Your Mayor
    2. Camera Shy
    3. Trix
    4. Energy Drink And The Long Walk Home
    5. Heart Shaped Box
    6. Washburn
    7. Old Paradise
    8. Payday Loans
    9. Hook On This
    10. Riding The Grape Dragon
    11. Run It Through The Dog
    12. Diggers Of Ditches Everywhere
    13. The Blue Rose

    Crows

    Beware Believers

      London four-piece Crows release their highly anticipated second album, ‘Beware Believers’, via Bad Vibrations Records. Conjuring a dark and visceral post-punk that’s been hardened by years of notoriously rowdy live shows, Crows have amassed a legion of die-hard fans since they formed back in 2015 and cultivated a singular, much-adored presence in the British alternative music scene. Equal parts ferocious and hedonistic, the ‘Beware Believers’ LP arrives off the back of their critically acclaimed 2019 debut ‘Silver Tongues’, international touring and festival appearances, and shared stages with the likes of IDLES, Wolf Alice, Girl Band, Metz, Slaves and Protomartyr.

      Following the release of their long-awaited debut album on the IDLES-run Balley Records back in 2019, Crows immediately set to work on its follow-up and by January 2020 they were already back in the studio tracking what would become the ‘Beware Believers’ LP and then Covid hit. “Once we knew Covid was here to stay, we took the first break we’ve taken since we released our first single ‘Pray’ in 2015. Being locked down for three months unable to finish the last bits of the record was very frustrating but it did mean we could come back to the album with fresh ears and make sure it sounded like it should: a true representation of Crows.” Loud, cathartic and abrasive a quintessential Crows record it certainly is.

      “Beware Believers has felt like a marathon, a real endurance test that’s been a long, winding road filled with highs and lows and plenty of twists and turns”, frontman James Cox says: “The majority of the themes on the album came from what was going on in the world around Summer 2019 when we started writing the album. Covid wasn't in our lives and the biggest impact was Brexit and the madness our government were putting us through. I was reading a lot of J.G. Ballard and Kurt Vonnegut, mad dystopian novels, whilst all this craziness was going on around us and it was a weird headspace to get into.”


      TRACK LISTING

      Side A
      1. Closer Still
      2. Garden Of England
      3. Only Time
      4. Slowly Separate
      5. Moderation
      6. Healing
      Side B
      7. Room 156
      8. Meanwhile
      9. Wild Eyed & Loathsome
      10. The Servant
      11. Sad Lad

      Ethan Johns is renowned for the vividness and purity of his productions with the likes of Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, Laura Marling and Paul McCartney. But Johns has always worn more than one hat; for starters, he’s an accomplished musician on a variety of instruments. He first came into view as the drummer/guitar player with Crosby, Stills and Nash and then as a guitarist in Emmylou Harris’ band, and subsequently, as a producer, Johns frequently contributed on both sides of the control room glass. Everything Johns has done during the course of his distinguished and varied career has led him to this deep, enthralling album. “The fact that I’ve been playing and performing as much as I have the last few years is showing in the performances that we got on this record, and I’m happy to be progressing". Ethan Johns’ musical explorations to continue to warrant—and reward—our rapt attention.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Silver Liner
      2. The Sun Hardly Rises
      3. I Don't Mind
      4. Juanita
      5. It Won't Always Be This Way
      6. Open Your Window
      7. Six And Nine
      8. Dark Fire
      9. I'm Coming Home

      If the measure of a true artist is their inability to stand still then Ethan Johns easily fits the bill. Having achieved the upper reaches of success as a producer (Ray Lamontagne, Kings of Leon, Tom Jones, Paul McCartney, Laura Marling) the artist’s voice inside Johns’ head could not be quieted. His first solo record, If Not Now Then When? Released in Summer 2013 was received with acclaim by fans and critics alike.

      For his subsequent record, Johns trades places behind the glass with long-time friend and collaborator Ryan Adams. The Adams-produced album, The Reckoning, was born on tour in the UK, Europe and the US, inspired by the landscapes of the countryside and snippets of life in each stop along the way.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Go Slow
      2. Dry Morning
      3. The Fool
      4. Among The Sugar Pines
      5. The Roses And The Dead
      6. Talking Talking Blues
      7. The Lo Down Ballad Of James Younger
      8. Black Heart
      9. You Changed
      10. This Modern London

      Coming seven years after the release of the previous full-length record, Every Eleven Seconds (5 Rue Christine), and two since the their split LP with Woods (Shrimper), Canyons Cars and Crows is a proper resurrection for Amps for Christ. Recorded at Equation Road in the beautiful Pomona Valley, the record upholds the band’s traditions of mixing folk with hardcore and noise with music—known as folkcore and musnik, respectively— and covers familiar sonic territories from ragas and Basho folk to dirges and jigs. The songs, dire but hopeful, examine man’s relationship to nature.

      Henry Barnes, the force behind Amps for Christ, was a founding member of Man Is the Bastard. The group’s first release was the cassette-only album The Plains of Alluvial, released by Shrimper in 1997; since then there have been many full-length and split albums on a number of labels. Outside of Amps for Christ, Barnes has collaborated recently with Man Is the Bastard’s Eric Wood on a Bastard Noise / Brutal Truth split LP on Relapse Records, a split with Bizarre Uproar, and a pair of splits with Japanese artists Outermost and Government Alpha. Look for live shows across one or two oceans following the release of Canyons Cars and Crows.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Sailor's Searching
      2. Miss You Mother
      3. Earth Is Spinning
      4. Chieftains I
      5. Hills Of Padua
      6. Chieftains II
      7. Barely Breathe
      8. Everyone Drives
      9. All Messed Up
      10. Scottish Country Dance


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