[Album Review] Blue Hands- II
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)


Release Date: March 24, 2016
Label: Independent

The trio of Alex Metcalfe, Isabella Davis, and Paul Geldart return to their Blue Hands project and continue to impress with their artsy approach. Overall, the music cannot be readily identified with any point in history, so is therefore both timeless and contemporary (in the sense that it is not “dated”). Having said that there are elements present that owe a debt to the likes of ’90s grunge, ’80s goth, and even trip-hop acts such as Portishead.

On occasion, Metcalfe takes the lead vocals, such as on the synth number “Glistener”, which sounds a bit like Bauhaus doing indie. However, for the most part the main singer is Davis, who displays the diversity to go from the Cocteau Twins-style crooning in “Sepulchre” to the scream/yelp during the King Crimson heaviness of “Rooted”. Like Blue Hand’s music in general, Davis’ vocals can be soothingly beautiful and nightmarishly disturbing.

The band’s creativity is always operating at a high level, with intriguing beats, odd rhythms and structures, and an assortment of otherworldly field noises. There are times when they veer awfully close to sounding “conventional”, such as the chorus in “Hiding in the Crowd”, which would sound like indie pop if it wasn’t so warped. They take us close but never quite there. It’s a reminder, of sorts, that Blue Hands have the ability to play commercial fare, but they aren’t going to bore us by doing so.