Thursday, June 19, 2008

We are Geometry

It always kinda makes me laugh when I read these reviews that people write about our last record, "This Is No Time For Modesty". Well, reviews of any record are usually funny to me because they they use idiotic similes that concern nothing other than aesthetic pleasure, leaving definition and description someplace far from the point. If someone tells me that the Beatles sound like fog rolling over a sunny meadow blooming with cherry blossoms, which nobody has but I wouldn't be surprised if they did, I would laugh a little and maybe think that the record they were describing was a bit eerie and pretty chill. For the most part, these descriptions, where do they come from? Although funny, I won't complain, I'm not the one who has to write these things. However, I am the one who has to make this music. And, while making this music, I am coming up with most idiotic of descriptions. When I'm trying to get a certain sound out the guitars I am always saying things like, "I dunno, just make it sound dirty, Is there a filth knob?". So, when it comes down to describing The Bad Hand, I always kind of take the writers review with a grain of something.

When I made this first record I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I was hell bent on making something for this world, an immortality of myself locked into vinyl. I made a few scratch tracks and emailed them to few of my favorite musicians. The only one who replied to me was Danny from Menomena, he actually listened to it and told us to keep on going. So on we went. We had no guide, what we did have was a whole wall covered in brown butcher paper with a giant size timeline, graphing out each instrument. We are geometry. We became this record. Everything about the concept of a 'record' was entirely new and there was nothing we could do no wrong. We didn't have a sound, we discovered every sound along the way.

Now, as we finish up our second record. I can say that we do have a sound. I can say that we are our own guides and that we know what we're doing, well we know enough about this next record to have completely thrown it all away, and started from scratch a second time. We've been working on the new one for quite some time, almost two and half years now. So before I give you our new record, "In This Line Wish You Happiness", I give you a review of the last record, "This Is No Time For Modesty". It was written by Julia Cooper from Nascent. It's a very good description of how things were for us then. We wanted to pack everything we could in the time that grooves on the thick white vinyl would allow, and we did it, with gusto.

So you tell me in a month or so when "In This Line Wish You Happiness" is released, are we all playing same song?

CD Review: The Bad Hand's This Is No Time for Modesty

By Julia Cooper

San Francisco experimental trio the Bad Hand seems like the kind of group that'll try anything once. On This Is No Time for Modesty, the band's staple rock instrumental base of guitar, Rhodes piano, and drums gets invaded by a gaggle of other genres and sounds, resulting in an ambitious mix of kitchen-sink sonic collages with varying degrees of success. (more >>)

The band certainly offers enough surprises to satisfy anyone bored with the verse-chorus-verse same-old same-old, as the musicians follow a slew of paths within the album and on the songs themselves. Just when you begin to brace yourself for an all-instrumental record, “Hell Bent” drops in soft, girly vocals; or dirgy grunge falls into good ol' Southern blues on “Then He Tried to Kiss Me”; or an interlude of fart-like kazoo sounds (“Short Door”) creeps into the batch.

Some of the tracks that fail to catch on weave together so many melodic and genre-hopping fragments that they leave listeners with little to grasp onto. The occasionally rough mixes, as on the hard-rock mishmash “How to Know When” and on the tail end of the disjointed “South Door,” which awkwardly melds a church organ with Southern blues guitar, can make one wonder: Are these guys all playing the same song?

But the band is legitimately enjoyable when it tones it down a few notches and sticks to one groove, like on “En Attenant De Baiser,” a proggy swirl of fuzzy guitars and shifting time signatures that drifts into funky jazz percussion and discordant piano tinkers; “The Twist,” which melds a paced electro pulsing with rainforest flutes and romantic whispers; and the best track, “Lo Ha,” a somber acoustic tremolo piece blended with funereal violin for a chilled out and downright lovely ambiance.

Perhaps most admirably, This Is No Time for Modesty showcases a band with oodles of energy that, when focused, can traverse a range of music and still pull it off -- most of the time.

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