October 9, 2013

Hand Sand Hands: Lord of Talk

Independent Release

Going purely off cues introduced on Hand Sand Hands’ all-too-brief Reded EP—self-released last August on Bandcamp—you might expect a gluttonous main course to follow that elegantly plated appetizer. Luckily, HSH’s sole member Jonathan Miller does not disappoint with Lord of Talk, Miller’s latest offering of clatteringly blissful, drone-pop.

Existing in a world of blown-out sonics and distorted-beyond-recognition instrumentation, Hand Sand Hands revels in a post-shoegaze haze that pummels the listener into noise-addled numbness while nurturing a serene scene of light and color. “Lasem das Seine” seems taken from Kevin Shields’ textbook, finding glorious snippets of looped sound in the dirtiest of places, expanding those tidbits into a head-caving squall of pure tone.

Elsewhere, Miller retreats into less concrete assaults, unfurling the melody to display its every nuance. “Oh Chorus, Split Us” is a mid-album tune that recalls Feels-era Animal Collective, transitioning between minimalistic primitivism and lo-fi effects. “17 Tons” is an overburdened blast of disjointed breakbeat, throwing its weight around the room with psychosis and Muslimgauze as its muse. It's all very disheveled, but it works in spite of itself. Miller’s cantankerous featurettes set their sights on art-pop, but end up excelling in the fringes of noise and experimental beauty. 4 out of 5.