March 11th sees the release of the new EP, Before the Light by Toronto quartet, Hands & Teeth. Progressing from their previous independent releases, 2010’s Enjoy Your Lifestyle and 2012’s Hunting Season, Before the Light brings out mellow and melodic tunes from the group.
This album is a well-orchestrated blend of traditional rock sounds and indie-pop trends. With groovy bass-heavy laden tracks like “Not the Same”, and the dreamily harmonic “Sunset Park”, Before the Light is a comprehensive and cohesive album, in the throes of a band that has found its own sound and hit its stride.
Both the kick off track, “Alice”, and follow up “Easy” are low-key and mellow songs with particularly catchy hooks that makes it near impossible to begin humming along to. Natasha Pasternak’s crisp and pleasant vocals blend naturally in harmonies with Derek Monson’s (bass) and Kevin Black’s (guitar).
Hands & Teeth use their affinity for dynamic and interesting harmonies heavily. The final song on Before the Light, “In the Eyes”, mixes these harmonies with a grungier guitar sound, using the last minute and a half for nicely distorted and psychedelic solo, brilliantly capping off the vibe of the rest of the album.
The six-song EP is a thoroughly cohesive project that doesn’t proclaim an “in-your-face” status. Each song flows well into the next, yet are flexible enough to be able to stand alone. On another level of flexibility, it allows itself to be more than a one-trick album of sorts. It can be listened to on several levels. I can imagine it being the perfect soundtrack for a long drive, sitting alone with headphones in, or the album to dance along to on a Saturday night. It’s wonderfully charming, versatile, and a great reinvention of a growing band.
© Megan Rach, Music Vice
Internet link: Hands & Teeth
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