Photo Source: Alex's Hand
Alex's Hand are going to be performing at The Morgue, a DIY venue in Georgetown, on Oct. 27th with Zander Yates and Fang Chia.
Their self-released debut effort Madame Psychosis features the trio (now a foursome) grappling with a wild spread of musical flavors. The album name itself invites interpretations of conflicting sounds and desires; a veil of manners covering a unpredictable body beneath. Or perhaps the title is simply a fun play with words.
"Stalker" opens with possibly the most delicate passage of the entire EP. A softly strummed guitar, haunting piano chords, occasional ticks of sticks, a chime or two - and then wammo - a poignant pop song lurches forward that would not be out place in a circle of 1980's post-punk ballads. The guitar solo near the close foreshadows harsher reveries to come, while it bizzarely ends with a Captain Beefheart-esque collapse.
The second track "Laura" erupts with a metal-tinged reverberation, peeling into drum rolls and odd UFO noises. Its three-part structure is exceedingly catchy and becomes hopeless to erase from one's brain. Equally unsettling and groovy, this is prime evidence for Alex's Hand's penchant for avant-pop experimentation. Bonus points for writing a song that pertains to David Lynch's classic series Twin Peaks.
"Reception," features Kellen Mills' most convincing vocal performance. Arguably the best all-around written song on the EP, it offers something of value for most listeners' predilections: big sweeping guitar melodies, gentle whispers of piano, loud emphatic drums, and otherwordly, baritone vocals.
At last, the closer "Robot," a two and a half minute spill of crunchy mania. The song is effortless in its raw energy and gives the impression of being played off-the-cuff in one take. For fans of bass so fat you can sink your teeth into and '80s and '90's noise rock a la The Jesus Lizard and Big Black. And oh my, the feedback into guitar solo in the last minute: part metal, part progressive rock, part space groove.
Alex's Hand are playing live at The Morgue in Georgetown on Saturday, October 27th. Catch them there with doors at 8:30pm and music beginning at 9pm. Listen to "Laura" below and visit their bandcamp to stream all of Madame Psychosis. It is available through the webpage or in person at Easy Street Records and Sonic Boom.
- Cameron LaFlam