Hands & Teeth – Before the Light

Hands & Teeth - Before the Light

Band: Hands & Teeth
EP: Before the Light

Written by: Chiara DiAngelo

After being relatively quiet throughout 2013 following the departure of a founding member, the now four-piece Toronto band, Hands & Teeth are back with their latest EP, Before the Light. More melodious and less extravagantly experimental than their 2012 LP, Hunting Season, the band still manages to create a new and varied sound for each of the five tracks, which are said to have been fuelled by life’s hardships endured by band members over the past year.

The EP opens with “Alice”. While the time-changes keep the pace measured, the swelling nature of the harmonic backing vocals dip into theatrical chamber-pop and Natasha Pasternak’s sweet voice urges the listener down the rabbit hole into the slightly surreal and bizarre world the band has crafted. “Easy” is appropriately the most easy-listening track of the EP. Bookended with shimmering flashes of sound, there is a classic feel to it that is immediately soothing. The dreamy doo-wop harmonies first heard here also re-emerge on “Sunset Park,” which similarly drips with pop appeal. In contrast, debut single and middle track “Not the Same” is driven by crunchy guitars laden with reverb, and EP closer “In the Eyes” reminds the listener of the band’s grittier avant-garde side. All band members continue to contribute vocals but they still shine brightest when Pasternak’s are the centre of attention.

Reinvention can be a tumultuous experience, but it can also be liberating. Hands & Teeth have always been ones to push genre boundaries and this release is no different; based on the first couple of listens, it has what it takes to launch them back to the forefront of the Toronto music herd. It also doesn’t hurt that the band worked with Carlin Nicholson and Mike O’Brien of Zeus in the production of this release!

Before the Light is out on March 11 via Underground Operations and the band’s EP release party is set for Wednesday, March 12 at The Dakota Tavern with special guests, Amos the Transparent. Full details are on Facebook.


Categories: Recorded


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