Hoping to mystify us once more, UK band Hand returns with their third album Kintsugi, from the Japanese art of pottery repair. Their modern and alternative progressive rock is much like that ancient art. Hand takes what seem to be disparate musical parts and melds them into a loosely cohesive whole that proves interesting and, most times, entertaining.
What their sound is not is accessible. It's definitely not pedestrian, something for the Philistines balancing and barking on the curb outside a modern art museum. But you can listen to it with some pleasure because, while they aim to be provocateurs, Hand has a keen sense melody, rhythm, and direction in each song. Arrangements and instruments shift and bend with the abandon of a kite on a windy day, but still flow into that large how that make true progressive rock both intriguing and entertaining.
One good is example is Volcanic Panic, a slamming and stammering number driven by riffs and tricky drums. Another is Through the Big Door, Up the Stairs and Out, probably the closest piece with a natural song structure, having eclectic movements wrapped up in a cohesive and continuous flowing whole. I found it to be the most energetic and engaging of all the songs.
But elsewhere Hand can be completely different. Delicate and nearly drifting with Word To That Effect. Injecting almost some jazz-fusion groove into the early parts of Nebula. Another time trying to juxtapose lightness against razor sharp riffs, and lots of them, within Windlestraw. Then boring my ears off with the not so amazing Amazing Burn. Along bassist Kat Ward's voice make her singing pitched and the lyrics indecipherable. Alternatively, guitarist Kieren Johnstone can deliver some buzzing solos, beyond all his sharp riffage. If your looking for an alternative twist on traditional progressive rock, Hand's Kintsugi will be more than enough for your ears to handle.
If your looking for an alternative twist on traditional progressive rock, Hand's Kintsugi will be more than enough for your ears to handle.
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