Band: Hands and Teeth
Album: Hunting Season
By Aaron Binder
Hands and Teeth have been hard at work over the past while to put together their first full length in Hunting Season and I think it may honestly be one of the most difficult pieces of music to figure out that I’ve ever heard. Not because it’s bad music, it’s not, but mostly because it’s such a bloody hard time to notice every little nuance the first, second and third time around. I’ve given this bad boy a listen probably 15-16 and there are constantly new guitar licks and vocal nuances to explore.
First the positive – The layers are beautiful, the guitars are mostly great, the drums are dancy and fun to listen to, you WANT to listen time and again.
You have a band here that obviously knows how to write a song; interesting spaces and pauses, good structure between the different instruments/vocals and the fact they have two singers (one male, one female) creates an interesting dynamic that is oft not pulled off as successfully and seemingly easy as Hands and Teeth makes It sound.
They are at their peak when they are writing grungy rock songs, Hamilton is the perfect example of what this band can do, INCREDIBLE guitar work, beautifully frantic vocals and an absolutely whirlwind sound put this track at the top of the album.
The not so positive – It’s boring sometimes, Le Petit Voleur is just plain boring and predictable in the way it stays unchanged the whole painful four minutes and twelve seconds it takes the listener to drudge through it.
On the other hand, the band also knows how to write songs that you’ve heard 1004 times before, Le Petit Voleur and Missing are both examples of the bland sing-songy nature of boring café rock. The songs start out with good intentions but end up sounding like they were written by committee.
Instead of doing this type of faux fun music, the band should focus more on the sound created in a song like Parallel States, not too different in cadence but worlds away when it comes to how full the sound becomes when the instruments strike up.
It definitely sounds like the members of Hands and Teeth are happy with Hunting Season, as they should be. Overall it’s a fairly enjoyable album to toss on late at night or while doing some long distance driving. Hell, I know it will be cranking during some late night rooftop patio sessions this summer. With the exception of a couple songs it truly is an enjoyable listen that should satiate even the most hardcore ‘it’s all been done and I hate everything new and derivative’ attitude.