Infinite Shuffle

March 11, 2012

106 – The Hundred In the Hands

Filed under: Brooklyn, H — assman41 @ 12:01 am

There’s always a sense of excitement when a band puts out a strong debut EP. You end up listening to the 5-7 songs so many times that you have them memorized, and, all the while, you’re eagerly awaiting the release of the first full-length album.

If you’re lucky, that first LP will meet or exceed your expectations. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, bands can’t replicate whatever it was that made those first few songs so great. Then you’re left with nothing but disappointment.

Admittedly, that’s not quite the case with The Hundred In the Hands. But their self-titled LP that they put out last year struggles to reach the same levels as their initial EP from 2010.

The six tracks on This Desert only amount to about 23 minutes, but in that short span, the Brooklyn male-female duo managed to show off a great deal of potential.

Songs such as “Tom Tom”, “In To It” and “It’s Only Everything” capture everything that’s great about the recent indie-electro/shoegaze trend.

But much of that is lost on the long play. While This Desert has a full, rich and textured sound, the follow-up just falls flat. Somewhere in between the two releases, Eleanore Everdell’s vocals went from dreamy — and a touch haunting — to bland and, at times, talk-singing. Like a less-talented Suzanne Vega.

That’s not to say the album doesn’t have its positive notes. The electro guitar that plays throughout conjures memories of The Rapture and, to a degree, VHS or Beta. And there are a few catchy tracks, such as “Killing It”, “Commotion”, “Dressed in Dresden” and the big single, “Pigeons” (just try getting the line “Saturday comes, Sunday comes, we go” out of your head).

The Hundred in the Hands are not a lost cause. They’ve shown that they have the potential to be great;  but they have simply taken things in the wrong direction. Now it’s just a matter of whether they realize it and are willing to make a U-turn.

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