Who? Tall Hands are a New York sextet comprised of singer/guitarist Justin Raisen, lead guitarist Algernon Quashie, keyboardist Jordan Benik, multi-instrumentalist Erik Micallef, bassist William Eidenback, and drummer Timothy Ruggeri. Their eponymous debut EP is out Oct. 24, just before the band make a stop at their hometown’s enormous music fest, CMJ Marathon.
What’s the Deal? Hailing from such a storied city at New York brings its share of ghosts and baggage to any rock band, and Tall Hands don’t make it any easier on themselves. Raisen tosses off his lines like a slightly sunnier — okay, a much sunnier — Lou Reed on “Fifteen On Ice,” and the band hint at strands running back to Lower East Side gutters by way of the Mo Tucker-esque drumming on “Medici.” That said, the band recall British invasion rockers more than their Gotham forbears on the jubilant “Introduction To The Razor,” and the twinkling keys of “Natural Light” wouldn’t sound out of place on ’70s AM radio.
Fun Fact: The band like to claim their EP offers the sounds of “Boat Rock,” which appears to mean precisely nothing. According to a press release, Raisen says Boat Rock is the terrain of “short shorts, speedboats, and man rock.” Uh huh. Maybe the band have created this incongruous genre description in order to subvert the dominant paradigm that insists on attaching insufficient signifiers to indefinable signifieds. Or maybe they just really like boats. Either way, Boat Rock is way catchy. JEFFREY PARKER
Now Hear This: Tall Hands – “Fifteen On Ice” Download MP3
Now Watch This: Tall Hands – “Three Full Virginias”
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On the Web: tallhands.com