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Open Hand - You And Me (Cover Artwork)

Open Hand

Open Hand: You And MeYou And Me (2005)
Trustkill Records

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: Erin_JacksonErin Jackson
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I'm sure the guys in Open Hand are nice. Even though many of the songs feature big guitar sound and heavy percussion, there is a lingering sensitivity that pervades the lyrics, and vocals that are alternately breathy and beautiful. A track like "Take No Action" says it all. Lyrics like "I don't wann.
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I'm sure the guys in Open Hand are nice. Even though many of the songs feature big guitar sound and heavy percussion, there is a lingering sensitivity that pervades the lyrics, and vocals that are alternately breathy and beautiful. A track like "Take No Action" says it all. Lyrics like "I don't wanna break your heart 'cause it's oh so wrong - I don't wanna waste your love 'cause it feels so strong" pour like milk and honey over a hard guitar line.

Still, one has to be very careful when they promote their release as "an epic masterpiece" - a line that appears on a sticker on the case of the CD and is repeated on the band's website. A statement like that begs an argument, and while the latest Open Hand release is poignant at times, I'm not sure it's a "masterpiece."

Most bands can be classified into one of two categories: those who play for other musicians and/or music nerds, and those who play for the masses. The former craft complex melodies, have a variety of influences, and are not just listened to; they're "appreciated." The latter create simplistic, instantly-catchy tunes that are easily digestible by a wide and varied audience. Open Hand is, without a doubt, a band that falls into the first category.This is complicated rock music -- educated angry boy music for deep people.

The CD is uniform throughout; tracks blend seamlessly into one another, at times the only indication that the song has changed is the display on the deck. The sound of each track, with a few exceptions, is very similar, which will either be the blessing or curse of this CD in the mass market. If a full album of music that "obliterates the boundaries between indie rock, stoner rock, metal, emo, and garage rock" is your thing, this is definitely worth checking out. However, I wonder how many people this sound will ultimately appeal to. This is rock for the experimental, educated consumer; it is not intended for consumption by the masses.

Some songs are forgettable. "Tough Girl," in particular, sounds amateur, and some of the surrounding tracks struggle to distinguish themselves from one another. Others, like "Tough Guy" and "Pure Concentrated Evil," are radio-ready. "Her Song" epitomizes sexy stoner rock. One song where the plethora of musical influences come together and work is "Crooked Crown," which is both haunting and peppy.

You'll like You and Me for the standout songs, and if you're lucky, you'll grow to love the rest. This disc isn't for everyone, but because it treads the line between beautiful background music and arresting, addictive rock, it's a worthy addition to the "impress your friends" section of your CD collection.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
stricken (November 4, 2005)

a few of the songs really bug me... "Tough Girl", "Take No Action" "Tough Guy" and i think one other.. but i cant remember.

other than that i really like this cd.. but The Dream is better.

Anonymous (June 9, 2005)

Let,s see? The last Epic Masterpiece? Led Zepellin's Debut.!
Thirty Five Years aint too bad of a stretch.

Anonymous (April 23, 2005)

hiya i love the new album by open hand its the best i love the track tough girl its the best ever also i fin the singer Justin isham is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo nice love hayley

Anonymous (April 23, 2005)

hiya i love the new album by open hand its the best i love the track tough girl its the best ever also i fin the singer Justin isham is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo nice love hayley

Anonymous (March 14, 2005)

pretty sure, you either love this album or hate it. kinda like minus the bear... at least thats what ive been hearing from everyone.

while You and Me has almost an entirely different sound than The Dream, both show some talent and ambition. although i think the new cd is more creative and the band's sound has departed somewhat from the emo theme of the last cd. i wish more bands would do this.

-matt

Anonymous (March 10, 2005)

OPEN HAND - YOU AND ME

"A crushing guitar rock masterpiece”. – KERRANG!

"Sexy rock that out Queens-Of-The-Stone-Ages Queens Of The Stone Age" - Q MAGAZINE

"Album Of The Month. An epic masterpiece that defies musical genres." – ROCK SOUND

“Genius. ‘You And Me’ is the first classic of 2005.” – METAL HAMMER

“Kurt Cobain did many things well, but his most crucial gift was making catchy melodies sit comfortably inside loud guitars. Justin Isham displays the same knack on ‘You And Me,’ the new album from Open Hand.” – WASHINGTON POST

Anonymous (March 7, 2005)

open hand? palm reader.

Anonymous (March 7, 2005)

Most bands can be classified into one of two categories: those who play for other musicians and/or music nerds, and those who play for the masses.

um, what about bands that play for themselves?

lou (March 7, 2005)

PS - cursive isn't a bad band to wanna be.

lou (March 7, 2005)

"Most bands can be classified into one of two categories: those who play for other musicians and/or music nerds, and those who play for the masses. The former craft complex melodies, have a variety of influences, and are not just listened to; they’re “appreciated.” The latter create simplistic, instantly-catchy tunes that are easily digestible by a wide and varied audience."

i would tend to disagree, but your point is taken. i need to listen to this i guess. saw them a long while ago. they had a lot of free stuff and i remember liking that.

Anonymous (March 6, 2005)

wannabe cursive

Anonymous (March 6, 2005)

just curious
when looking in the linear notes it says "lyrics written by the three storms"

now does this mean the band hired someone to write the lyrics?

Anonymous (March 5, 2005)

the score is for everyone who rates their own opinions

Anonymous (March 5, 2005)

which is worst, trustkill or victory?

swingline (March 5, 2005)

i get it. whatever this guys involved with turns to shit

Anonymous (March 5, 2005)

Open Hand.. funny sidenote..the bands are gay.get it?

Anonymous (March 5, 2005)

I'm not seeing the humor in that sidenote.

maverick (March 5, 2005)

Funny sidenote: The guy who manages Matchbook Romance and A Thorn For Every Heart used to be in this band (and apparently started it, from what I was told).

-Scott

Anonymous (March 5, 2005)

is the guy who was in not waving but drowning still in this band?

NWBD was amazing.

this is for them.

wyzo

Chason (March 4, 2005)

you could put a sticker that says "Epic Masterpiece" on a Me First and the Gimme Gimmes album.

Anonymous (March 4, 2005)

it's funny. he says "Tough Girl" is the weak song on the CD in the same review he explains about "two types of bands: the deeper thinking musician/arty types and the simple thinking middle america types (paraphrasing)" and that Open Hand will never be for the masses. But I think that it's "Tough Girl" that is BY FAR the one song that is for the masses and catchy as hell. That song can go the distance, in my opinion.

I never liked this band before but this CD is flat out awesome. A masterpiece? I guess only time will really tell, but I'm having a hard time removing it from my CD player. Good for them....

Anonymous (March 4, 2005)

the band doesn't control what the sticker says. that's the company marketing the cd so that it sells.

Anonymous (March 4, 2005)

It made my skin crawl to hear them yank the Peter Gabriel lyrics and melody...

Anonymous (March 4, 2005)

its labeled an epic masterpiece cause it is, duh

wrongstring (March 4, 2005)

Good review.

Anonymous (March 4, 2005)

I would be willing to guess it was the people at Trustkill were the ones that dubbed this an "epic masterpiece" and not Open Hand themselves. Labels seem to have a tendency to do ridiculous things like that. Honestly though, is anyone going to buy an album because it says on the cover that it's an "epic masterpiece."
I don't really understand the thinking behind that sort of promotion...but oh well.

Anonymous (March 4, 2005)

Good review... You should go and teach Jesse how to write these. Although he is writing major and apparently knows everything about everything... Nonetheless, keep up the good work

Anonymous (March 4, 2005)

Good cd, not great, but good
easy to listen to and the last song is by far the best on it

Anonymous (March 4, 2005)

That's an awesome name...Erin Jackson.

Inspection12e (March 4, 2005)

This is absolutely terrible. I can't believe they posted this review.

Anonymous (March 4, 2005)

ryyyyght, back when they had a roster full of dry hardcore bands?

diversity gets a 10!

Anonymous (March 4, 2005)

trustkill used to be a good label, many years agao

Anonymous (March 4, 2005)

Not bad, not great. I'd like it if they took some more chances, rather than playing it safe for the most part. Some of it reminds me of the Foo Fighters.

The artwork is fantastic.

tristan (March 4, 2005)

More good than boring, and never bad... but it teases the whole way through that there'll be a climax - and it never quite happens. But not in a beautifully resigned, anti-climatic sort of way. Maybe next time. Really pretty cd though; props to Asterik again.

Anonymous (March 4, 2005)

Not bad. From their last album - they had lot's of talent but the songs were kind of annoying

Anonymous (March 4, 2005)

Who the shit is this?

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