Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Vampire Hands - Me & You Cherry Red

Vampire Hands
Me & You Cherry Red (Modern Radio, 2008)
Grade: B+

Download: Vampire Hands - "Statuette"

It’s always fun to watch a great local band grow in popularity and start to become recognized outside of the city they come from, not due to excessive buildup and overexposure (that was another Vampire band), but because they’re actually incredibly good at what they do. Ambient-rock quartet Vampire Hands have dominated the local scene for a few years now, with beats resembling Sonic Youth and a falsetto that echoes a funkier, acid-rock version of Frankie Vallie if he had been placed in a time machine.

Vampire Hands’ March release Me And You Cherry Bomb doesn’t differ from the trippy, hypnotic sound showcased on Virgin Dust American Lips and 2007’s Cuz It’s a Beach Funeral, but rather skims the edge off their sometimes rattling and raucous sound and cleaning it up with echoing vocal harmonies and catchy melodies. Songs like "No Fun" have a mellow, retro flavor that are soaked in electric guitar solos that would be complimentary in sound to Jefferson Airplane; "Statuette" taps into the roots of Vampire Hands’ older tunes with haunting hymns and modern heavy beats that somehow manage to tap into a sound not entirely unlike Portishead. Me And You Cherry Red is staying in touch with its psychedelic roots, but definitely proves you don’t have to sacrifice melody and conform to one standard sound. And as far as live gigs are concerned, Vampire Hands earned recognition for a reason: they put on one hell of a show.

Vampire Hands are wrapping up a US tour, ending tonight at 7th Street entry with Dead Meadow and First Communion AfterParty.

Download: Dead Meadow - "I'm Gone"
Download: First Communion Afterparty - "The Ebb"

Dead Meadow MySpace Page
Vampire Hands MySpace Page
First Communion Afterparty MySpace Page

(Tara Rogan)

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