A horrible hack

Human Hands - Bird Calls


Year Released: 2011
Format: 7"
Label: art for blind - time as a color - Eat A Book
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Feb 12, 2012
I probably should not review this record. I know all the people involved in the bands and labels on at least some level. And I would happily put out records by either band, and hopefully will, so I suppose you could read my opinions as utterly biased, but that's too bad. I get excited about music and I get excited about releases like this.

Human Hands are a prototypical mid 90s style emo band of the deeply unfashionable kind. They deal in side filling sob fests that move at the pace of a snail, repeating over and over whilst the vocals whirl around and the song dives head long into the end of the world death spiral. This is a style of music that few dare to touch, yet Human Hands deftness with the style is noteworthy. It follows the blueprints laid down by the likes of Indian Summer, and the guitar sound will see those in the know tipping a wink to a friend with only the words “Don Martin Three” needing to be uttered. “Knot” is taut, strained and desperate. This music was always supposed to sound like this. Death to the so-called party emo. Long live the miserable fucking bastards.

Now, Bird Calls is a band on the move, keen to try something different and the two songs they offer up here show how they intend to get there. “Thirteen” opens up and is a marvellous slice of jazzmo. The bass grooves mightily, whilst the guitar and drums snake around it. It spies the footsteps of Chris Leo in the snow, and heads in a similar direction, but steadfastly refuses to firmly plant it's size twelves in the exact same spots. I particularly like the moment when it ups the pace and explodes frantically. “Fifteen” breaks out with a massive groove, again bringing to mind the Lapse yet with a fresh approach, a new beginning. The song is smartly structured, with distinct passages that seamlessly begin and cease, there is no rude interruption, just a carefully judged switching of the points, and the Bird Calls 'mo train runs onto another line, diverging on a slightly different route...

These two bands show that this country is continuing to be capable of producing exciting new bands that aren't interested in aping the state of the scene in the United States. This is a vital thing. I hope that you will enjoy them as much as me.

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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