When I was in the sixth grade I had a birthday party and for some reason one of my classmates, his name was Seth, gave me a copy of Sir Mix-A-Lot's album Mack Daddy. I didn't ask for it, I guess he just assumed it was something I would enjoy. Anyways, contained on said album is a track entitled "Seattle Ain't Bullshittin'." While musically the song has nothing to do with this review, the title itself, on the other hand, does. The surrounding area of Seattle has been churning out some rather impressive acts in the past couple of years. Two such acts, Harkonen and These Arms Are Snakes represent Seattle's finest, and that ain't no bullshit.
Like a Virgin is a collaborative effort between these two acts, each band performing two songs each individually and additionally combining their forces for one masterpiece. These Arms Are Snakes starts things off with "Payday Loans," a song that could have easily landed on the bands debut EP. The guitars on this song are quite rad, they remind me a lot of Botch, and I absolutely love Botch. With their second track, "Hook on This," These Arms Are Snakes stick to the sound they've developed for themselves: avant garde indie/metal. The vocals of Steve Snere draw me in whenever I listen to this band; they evoke emotion perfectly and are very sincere sounding. Harkonen's contributions, "Standing on the Holey Soles" and "Neverlanders" are very fitting of what they did on Dancing. The songs are the perfect blend of intricate guitar riffs, proficient drumming, and the coarse vocals of a former lumberjack. Okay, he's not a lumberjack, but at times Ben Verellen does sounds like one. On the final track the two bands teamed up to perform "Touched for the Very First Time." While I'm not sure how they worked out the musical arrangement on this track, I can tell you that it pretty much is a mixture of the bands two sounds, which aren't that dissimilar, and the bands two vocalist trading off verses and choruses.
I was extremely anxious for this release, especially since I'm a fan of both of these bands. However, it is the presence of new material from These Arms Are Snakes that will likely draw most to purchase the release. Both bands stick to their respective musical paths, so if you enjoyed their previous work you'll enjoy Like a Virgin. My only qualm is that I wish it were a tad longer.
8.0 / 10
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