Good Bad Touch Not Evil
Name: Strange Hands
Genre: Psych Punk
When they started: 2008
Most like: Black Lips, Acid Baby Jesus
The Sound: Like flower punk’s not dead
Strange Hands from Bordeaux, France don’t really sound like Black Lips. But Black Lips might be the first thing you think of when you listen to their debut full-length Dead Flowers. This is because they seem to have figured out just what made Black Lips’ flower punk so, um, flowery and proceeded to embellish on the concept. That’s right, I’m saying that even though “flower punk” was a phrase thrown out there to describe one band, Dead Flowers could be the album that makes it into an actual microgenre.
The album deserves to be genre-defining even if it isn’t. It’s psychedelically aristocratic as early Pretty Things yet snotty as all get out. And they wail. The mean, nasal vocals and manhandled organ really make it. A lot of the music does draw on British psych from the ’60s, but “She’s Mine” shows that this trio can also make it dirty and soulful in the early American garage rock tradition, mining the same trashy vein as Cheap Time. “Anxious Picture” is a psychedelic anthem for revving up your muscle car and cutting the sleeves off your fringed buckskin jacket. But when they turn up the noise and act out on “Summertime” it puts the punk in garage punk. And the title track just gets weiiiird.
It’s an exciting first album, meaning the hair on the back of your neck might stand up a little around the first or second tracks. Before this, Strange Hands released their “Dead Frozen Deer” 7″ on Netherlands label A Fist Full of Records and toured Europe a couple of times. Were glad to hear they’ve got another European tour in the works for this summer. The world needs more trash like this.
Get into their “Acid Vision”: