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GORILLA WARFARE
:: Kong :: These Arms Are Snakes ::
30 November 2006 / Satan's Hollow / Manchester
By DH

If you're named after a super-size fictional gorilla you'd better sound pretty fucking massive. You probably ought to be prone to explosive tantrums. This Mancunian trio, which contains Mark from Oceansize and Jon Lee formerly of Fi Lo Radio, certainly are. But unlike, the great ape himself, this Mancunian namesake has no soft centre, more a dark sardonic heart. Dressed in robbery masks, it's hard to see any mind state other than psychosis.

Kong are a refreshing and vicious combination of several contemporary and extremely heavy influences. Detuned, unapologetic and phallically hardcore, they're as savage as a bowl of buck shot for breakfast. Impossible to follow time signatures housing lead-weighted riffs surpass Tool at their most brutal.

But there's an irreverent and inscrutable edge to Kong which marks them above standard metal merchants. Kong have more in common with cerebral noise-makers such as Part Chimp, McLusky and Glasgow's awesome DeSalvo. When guitarist and "singer" Jon Lee isn't snarling like an Alsatian stuck in a washing machine, he mumbles and drones as if possessed. There's an atonal and, dare I say it, playful dimension to each stinging riff and bone-crunching drum beat.

Kong are the future of heavy music and the future looks bright, even if it hurts somewhat.

What distinguishes Seattle quartet These Arms Are Snakes (TAAS) from their hardcore peers is their use of technology and subtle textures. The latter is certainly not on the menu tonight, at least not audibly. Live TAAS don't seem to translate so well. The in-house sound system doesn't seem to cope with the sheer volume flooding through it. What results is an often mangled, screaming din. Sparser tracks such as 'Shit Sisters', 'Angela's Secret' shine in their driving clarity. But for the main part it's unwieldy noise which veers into the unwelcome (and unlistenable) world of screamo.

The band for their own part don't hold back. Singer Steve Snere, doesn't confine himself to the stage, leaping across railing and the bar top. Chris Common's kit looks like it's about to catch fire. Sadly however, it's an 'A' for effort but a 'C' for results.


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These Arms Are Snakes

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