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The Guilty Hands – Desire On A Short Leash

February 25, 2011 by  

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The Guilty Hands – Desire On A Short Leash

NAME: The Guilty Hands
ALBUM: Desire On A Short Leash
DATE: 14February2011

LABEL: Slicethepie

RATING: 3/5

FIVE WORD REVIEW: Debut highlighting areas for improvement

LOCATION: London, UK

LINE UP: Gareth Moss, Paul Cox, Martin Allen Grey

Guilty Hands.jpg

WHAT’S THE STORY?: ‘Desire On A Short Leash’ is the end product of The Guilty Hands being awarded £15,000 to record their debut album. Having spent the latter half 2010 putting the album together, it finally arrived February this year.

The opening track, and one of the band’s singles, ‘Razor’ beings with an awkward techno intro, which is now relying on the rest of the song to help forget said intro. And thankfully, it does. Screeching guitars, great vocals and an infectious beat serve as a brilliant start to the record. Following tracks ‘Gregory’ and ‘Guilty Hands’ take a more laid back approach, in terms of pace and intensity, but in no way is this a bad thing.

‘Wilder Shores of Love’ shows a more vulnerable side to TGH, as we hear Moss admit to being ‘washed up on the wilder shores’ before the band launches into a drum-led bridge, followed by an epic finish to a great track. This consistent start to the record continues in the form of ‘The Collector’. A subtle yet incredibly effective guitar riff runs through the song, in and out of the appropriate effects we are treated to on Moss’s vocals.

Unfortunately though, the next track ‘Silent Partner’ takes a steadily decline in bot the lyrical and musical quality, and never really recovers. ‘The Killing of Isla Nicholson’ is barely worth mentioning. There’s so much going on in the song, including some running water to start the track, it never really settle down and finds what it’s looking for, whatever that may be. ‘Down By Your Shoulders’ sounds very experimental. Credit where credit’s due, the chorus of the song is a real high point of the album, but other than that and a slightly militant hand clap through, this song again falls short of the mark set by the first half of the album.

The problem with ‘Up On The Hill (No.42)’ is that, from the opening minute or so, it sounds like the track is just going to get bigger and louder as it goes on. But it doesn’t, and we feel almost let down by it. It has the potential to be huge, but it falls horribly short. Penultimate track ‘Meat’ faces similar problems, but conquers them…at least to some extent. Again it’s a slow start that suggests more to come. And it does come. Unfortunately it takes 3 minutes 50 seconds to do so. When it does come about though, despite how brief it is, it’s a real treat. A huge guitar riff makes us sit up and pay attention for the first time in a few minutes; something the album could’ve done more with to be honest.

The album’s final track, ‘Black Doves’, is unfortunately another example of what the album shouldn’t have been, as oppose to what it could’ve been. If you listened to the first track of the album and then this final one, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was entirely different band.

What seems to have happened, is that they seem to have lost all their confidence at the halfway point of the record. Which is a real shame, because it started off as a truly great record. It was big, loud, consistent and sharp. And it’s this that we should remember. The band has shown what they’re capable of and will hopefully return with a second album much like the first half of this one.

SOUNDS LIKE: A positive addition to the influx of bands combining rock and synths, and who already have five great songs that sound like they could’ve been inspired by anyone from Muse to Hurts, or Kaiser Chiefs to Kills.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: You don’t expect to be blown away, but like the idea of an album of which half of it echoes the likes of Kills and the other, at a push, Stornaway (just with a bit less enthusiasm with regards to any Stornaway finished product).

LINK: http://www.theguiltyhands.com/


Submitted By MattOrd


 

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