November 16, 2006


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Tall Hands, Tall Hands
Pulse Recordings, 2006

NYC scene-leeches Tall Hands pump-fake in the direction of Bowie with opening track "Fifteen On Ice," its Bob Seger piano and guitars leading you to believe singer Justin Raisen's going to pompous-out about something too clever for humans and whatnot, but along come the vocals and hey-ho, he mynas Iggy instead. Now, Iggy or Michael Hutchence, who's more Raisen's speed never had to sing over jewelry-store speaker music, so the adjective "alternative" is thus duly read into their record, and the obscure influences they list on MySpace (unless they're phony bands, who's counting?) is likewise a cry for cred. It's obvious, therefore, that someone doesn't want the music itself examined too closely, so we'll begin: they're more about groove than structure, often futzing with their glammy blues-bubble until it sounds U2-ish, sporadically mugging Interpol for however many cred-shekels they're still holding ("Medici") but mostly doing the moptop thing for the benefit of vestal nerds who'd go so far as to stop allowing their colorblind grandmas to dress them if it spelled an opportunity to hear a recording of Lupine Howl using The Crickets' equipment to do a cover of "Paperback Writer." C+
Eric W. Saeger