Hands and Teeth (No live photos for this one; poor Natascha had her camera and bag stolen after a late-night CMW misadventure. Wasn’t even her camera, it was a friends’. Boo you, thieving bastard. Anyway, the notes survived, here’s the review… Ed.)
The Gig: Hands and Teeth, Golden Isles (part of Canadian Music Fest 2011)
Where: Sneaky Dee’s, Toronto, Ontario
When: Thursday 10 March 2011
In One Word: Splendid
The Golden Isles had the 1 AM slot at the Audio Blood showcase at Sneaky Dee’s Thursday night. By this hour, most of the crowd has dissipated out into the rainy night- but the young band from Montreal didn’t seem to care. They approached the performance with an infectious “balls-to-the-wall” attitude, full room or not.
On the microphone, lead singer Adam Feingold engages the attention of the crowd like a seasoned hip hop MC – and the band’s soulful set uses organ synth, downward moving bass lines, and tonight a bit of fist pump to “tak(e) you back to that groovy spot”. But far from being just backwards glancing “abstract funk shit”, the band wears these retro sounds like a vintage piece of clothing used to spice up a common outfit- sounding more like a younger, edgier version of “The Strokes” than your dad’s old record collection.
The last act of the night was a performance from a local band called Hands and Teeth that I’d never heard of before, and ended up being the absolute show stealers of the night. The band started off their set with “Dig A Pony” from the Beatles iconic Let It Be album. Cover tunes, especially by a band so well-loved and over played as the Beatles, can make or break a band- so it was a bold starter. In this case though, it ended up being an excellent choice for the band who were able to retain the original flavour of the song, while adding to the blend a touch of rowdiness and new take on the vocal harmonies. I decided it would worth staying up late to watch the set after all.
Apparently the other bold-hearted souls in the crowd who also weren’t afraid to stay out late for a good show were equally as impressed with set as I was, and showed their interest by moving in close to the stage and even busting a dance move or two. It was really hard to tell that it’s only been a year that the band’s been performing together. I was really impressed with the contrast between the tightness and experimentation in the band’s material, and the great, laid-back chemistry the band has together. Truly an eclectic performance was put on by the multi-talented Hands and Teeth, who also boast a debut EP that is the best I’ve heard in a while. I can’t wait until they drop a full-length. That shit has Polaris material written all over it.
© Natascha Malta, Music Vice