Hands – Synesthesia

It’s not a game changer, but ‘Synesthesia’ offers you everything you could possibly need and expect from an indie pop record.

Rating:

Hands are pretty useful. It with complete guarantee that hands were used to type this review and all preceding reviews. Despite past attempts to type sentences with feet, noses, chins, elbows or any other body part that possesses the potential geometrical usefulness for computer work, hands are generally considered to be the champion for such uses. It with this completely normal introduction that you are presented with Californian four-piece Hands. Their first single was released in the early months of 2012, and since then have been making themselves as known as possible, with a little help from Lauren Laverne and a well-received set at SXSW. It seems like a notable enough start to the career of these four handsome lads from the Golden State, and they quite proudly bring you their debut album ‘Synesthesia’.

Their particular brand of semi-electronic indie-pop revolves mainly around jittery drum beats and soaring choruses, so it’s completely understandable that the band are frequently compared to compatriots MGMT and Foster The People. But what stops them from lazily being branded as the new Foster The People is that their focus is on making you dance, rather than giving you catchy riffs to ‘Chelsea Dagger’ along to. The toe-tapping ‘Videolove’ follows on from restless ‘Trouble’ as the album relentlessly grabs your attention. The overall pace of ‘Synesthesia’ is relatively consistent, only accelerating for the Walkmen-esque ‘Brave Motion’ before giving you a mid-album breather with the slightly downbeat ‘The Game Is Changing Us’ and the bassline-focused ‘House Of Jars’. Just as your spirits are raised by surf-pop and dancefloor friendly nature ‘Lonesome Body’, which gets your toes tapping and bum wiggling once again, the album stumbles through the lacklustre ‘Kinetic’ and forgettable ‘Nothing But Animals’ before the album’s very brief foray into the world of electronica mid-way through the crescendo that is ‘Take It All’.

It’s not a game changer, but ‘Synesthesia’ offers you everything you could possibly need and expect from an indie pop record. It’ll make you dance and sing until you sweat, and although it stutters in places and has plenty of sections that build but frustratingly never execute the finish to shatter your eardrums, it’s an album that is very difficult to truly dislike. It’s nowhere near as annoying as some of the artists they’re supposed to be rubbing shoulders with, and it won’t get everybody up on their feet, but then again some people just don’t like fun.

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