Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hands Off Cuba Releases Volumes of Sobering Liquids EP Today at Grimey's

Posted by on Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM

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If you want to talk about local outfits that feature the talents of some of the city's best players, you're going to have to talk about Hands Off Cuba. The post rock-inflected instrumental ensemble counts among its ranks current and former members of Lambchop, KORT, Silver Jews, Cortney Tidwell's band, The Privates, Hobbledeions and more. This evening — at 6 p.m., to be exact — Hands Off will play an in-store at Grimey's in celebration of their latest four-song EP, Volumes of Sobering Liquids.

I've been listening to Volumes for a couple of days now, and for all its ambient, experimental leanings, it isn't a formless listen. Sure, there's the myriad instrumentation (from samplers and synths to horns and woodwinds), sprawling build-ups and occasionally complex rhythms. But at its heart, Volumes is about captivating instrumental melodies as much as it's about lush production. Side B's "Ramrod" is as aggressive as its title suggests, barreling through roughly eight minutes with a simple but commanding riff and a wall of dynamic noise. Drummer Scott Martin is a machine. Bassist Adam Bednarik (who engineered the EP at House of David) constructs transfixing bass lines while players Ryan Norris, William Tyler, Matt Glassmeyer, Ben Marcantel and Jonathan Marx provide flourishes that are sometimes grounded and familiar, and at other times wonderfully alien.

It probably goes without saying that Volumes will likely appeal to fans of bands like Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, Do Make Say Think, et cetera, but I'll go ahead and say it anyway: Volumes will likely appeal to fans of bands like Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, Do Make Say Think, et cetera. As always, this evening's Grimey's in-store is free.

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