Despite the many great recent releases and ever-rising stack of submissions - digitally speaking....no-one sends physical CD's any longer, Grandpa - my listening has been harking back to days of yore for a couple of weeks now. Although partially attributed to the reunions going on, there have also been some random whims taken up from idle iPod browsing. Such are the vagaries of having an entire music collection in one's pocket.
The most recent, not to mention regularly repeated, foray into yesteryear has been to Open Hand's oft-overlooked 2004 release 'You And Me'.
After their abortive debut with 'The Dream' - a relatively underwhelming mesh of the many emocore pedallers of the time - this album changed tack significantly and moved the band into full blown rock overdrive, with further nods to the stoner territory of Queens of the Stone Age and even Kyuss, in the licks of certain errant guitar work.
MP3: Open Hand - Pure Concentrated Evil
MP3: Open Hand - Tough Guy
Taken from 'You And Me'
From the immediate jolt of 'Pure Concentrated Evil', a song that continues to kick start almost every upbeat playlist I create, through to languid closer 'Hard Night', the quality is consistently high. The dynamic rock is delivered with the urgency of a punk band but holds onto the melodic groove synonymous with QOTSA and their ilk, gelling together to create what is simply an outstanding rock record with tremendous return value.
Unfortunately, with their star in the ascendancy, Open Hand only toured the album for a short while and then seemed to disappear from the face of the planet. Whilst their Myspace is still active, a 2008 blog post proclaiming a finished album is even now the most up to date news. Said album has as yet failed to materialise and only tantalising talk of song titles continues to do the rounds. Thankfully enough, 'You And Me' has enough quality to bridge even a gap of 5 years plus. The thought of what might have been, though, is still enough to fuel a strong desire to hear what the band is hiding.
"Things change, the old cliche,
'How's it going, same as yesterday' "
Now playing: Queens Of The Stone Age - Born To Hula