Slack Hands is an alternative rock band from Melbourne and formed in order to meet a requirement for singer Dave Hobson's university course. That is to say Slack Hands is an EP recorded under pressure and it's come through in their sound.
Speaking of pressure, the shortest amount of time I've heard of being devoted to recording an album was Damien Jurado's Maraqopa. He and Richard Swift recorded it in 24 hours. The lads in Slack Hands managed to record their self-titled EP in 10 hours. While there is definitely some sloppy playing as a result of the rushed recording, it only adds to the charm. It's a welcome break from the polished, digital perfection we've been subjected to for the last decade.
It is impossible to talk about Slack Hands without mentioning Queens Of The Stone Age. The guitars on "I Know" sound exactly like those used by Josh Homme, dirty, fuzzy and raw. It's a great intro to the EP, providing an in-your-face introduction to the songs you're about to hear. The second track, "Candy Gloss,” begins very quietly and suddenly erupts into a driving, yet dynamic, rock song. It plays with the contrast between loud and soft to create something more interesting than either of the two would be separately. "Rats Of The Chapel" features an oddly lounge-esque verse that offsets a loud, but behind the beat, chorus. The main riff on "Dummy" is quite poppy compared to the rest of the record and furthers the interest of the songs. It ends with a "Soon To Sleep,” a song that reminds me of late 2006; it's slow but fuzzy.
Slack Hands is, simply put, varied. There's a lot to listen to here and that keeps it interesting. My only worry is that by keeping the sound this varied, there isn't a concrete way to define the band. That can be a good thing if it means the band is truly creative with their future projects, but a bad thing if it means the band never really figures out what it is they're trying to say. Still, the heavy rock thread manages to hold the songs together here quite well and I'm really excited to hear what else Slack Hands have to offer.
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