Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Is It...Jangly?

While I'm off trying to get to 50k words before the end of the month, I thought I'd share with you my failed attempt to be a music reviewer. I feel bad sometimes that I never share what really goes on day to day in my life, and once I rule out discussing my health and really deep thoughts (it gets so much worse than last week) I just seem to be someone who watches movies and chops down vines a lot. But a lot of the time I'm off trying to get my feet in various doors and this year I went completely apeshit and ended up looking like some terrible industrial Twister accident. Did you know there's an all-pink version of Twister? What is that about? And what's with the Toys 'r Us reviewers reviewing the model on the box? Wow.

Anyway, I thought it'd be fun to review music, being that's something I do in my head almost every day. Apparently my editor did not agree. (For those keeping score at home, I think the editor left the position. Like...I did it again. DJs, TV shows, and now editors? Is nothing safe around me?!) I was never contacted again after submitting what follows, and dammit, I don't like to see my words go to waste, especially being I spent three days listening to an album I normally wouldn't have by a band I'd never heard of and ended up really liking it. Keep in mind I was directed to write more words that I thought necessary, and YouTube is an amazing research tool. ^_^

I give you Lunglight by The Shaky Hands. It's part of my life, kids.

Don't let the jangly surf rock bounciness fool you, The Shaky Hands have come from looking the world straight in the face and being slightly jaded by what's to be seen. Originating in Portland, Oregon, where the space needle emits waves of rock brilliance over much of the population, The Shaky Hands' second outing Lunglight was released in September on Holocene/KRS and features many songs that have until now only been heard at their live shows. Not long after their self-titled debut album, the band became a quintet when multi-instrumentalist Nathan Delff joined his brother, vocalist and guitarist Nick Delff, guitarist Jeff Lehman and bassist Mayhaw Hoons, but is once again a quartet since the departure of percussionist Colin Anderson two months prior to this album's release.

The album opens right up with a rocking call for an end to the wicked and hope for the peaceful in A New Parade and rolls right along into the to the fun wisdom of Loosen Up, a crowd favorite at shows. The fittingly titled Air Better Come never lets up on its feverish speed and the playful-sounding reminder to live, We Are Young, has yielded the first video from the album, directed by Yoni Kiffle and E*Rock. The album has been called darker in tone and around the middle the reason becomes apparent with Neighbors and World's Gone Mad, two lyrical stories which blend into each other, starting out as Tool-tinged music to watch your disturbing neighbors by and ending with a wider view of the darkness in the world. The introspection continues with No Say, a stirring song about being painfully different. The upbeat feeling returns in the affectionate You're The Light and continues through the soundtrack to a perfect date in the life of the world-weary, Show Me Your Life. The clever lyrics of Settle On shine but after the cloudiness threatens to return on Love All Of, optimism fights for control again on Wake The Breathing Light, the longest track of the album clocking in at just under five minutes. Oh No, the final track, may mirror your thoughts as this album ends, but have no fear, the band is promising an EP of live tracks very soon.

Each track on Lunglight manages to remain infectiously unique despite being carried by similar driving beats, sometimes evoking the sound of The Strokes, other times digging into Rockpile, but always retaining the definitive sound of The Shaky Hands. If you liked their first album, you'll love this just as much if not more, and if you've never heard of The Shaky Hands give Lunglight a listen, over and over again.

(Did I sell you on it? Here's the video for We Are Young.)
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1 comment:

Ari said...

Not bad, the Shaky Hands.