Relatively quickly upon first hearing the track “Onward Upward” from Los Angelenos Hands sometime in 2011, I felt a strong desire to put out some sort of vinyl with them on our fledgling now-on-extended-perhaps-permanent-hiatus label. While that never came to fruition, the song and a few others made it onto a six track EP released by Small Plates Records entitled Massive Context, which ultimately found itself amongst my favorite releases of 2012. Now it seems the band has prepared their full length debut after attaching themselves with the good (I hope) people at Kill Rock Stars.
Lead single “Trouble” is our first taste, and it’s filled with bold flavors. The track starts out in somewhat familiar territory, though a bit bolder with some crunchy new synths. Just after the half way point things veer off into a bleepy-bloopier dance rock realm than we’ve ventured into prior with the band while the tension builds. Previous Hands songs didn’t feature synths quite so prominently, instead focusing on traditional rock instrumentation to convey their whims. But this is a good thing! New wrinkles are certainly welcome, though to be honest I haven’t yet heard other albums cuts to determine if it is a wholesale change or a strategically placed wrinkle. Despite these new flourishes, everything you might have come to love from the band prior is still on display here. Suffice to say, I’d still jump at the chance to put something out with these guys had they not far surpassed our tiny stature long ago.
The band’s full length debut is set for release on 4/30 from Kill Rock Stars, and is entitled Synesthesia. Pre-order here.