Hands - Twenty Five Winters

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Shroom Productions
Catalog Number: SP 2113
Format: CD
Total Time: 37:42:00

When I think of Texas and music, what immediately comes to mind are bands like ZZ Top or Stevie Ray Vaughn, the blues based rock. So a progressive band from Texas seems as out of place an armadillo in upstate New York. Texas-based Hands carried the progressive flag in Texas throughout the 70s, yet Twenty Five Winters represents their first "proper" release. The prior releases were put out long after the group had gone their separate ways. Twenty Five Winters brings together key members of the band from the 70s recording all new material.

The opening "Knock/Enter" shows off the bands use of multi-instrumentation. Building from an acoustic guitar riff, the song ultimately becomes a mesh of Gentle Giant and Kansas influence. The music is always centered with a melodic foundation, yet the instrumentation takes many different paths. "Green Room (Pt.1 & 2)" are basically two different songs using the same melody, with a melodic piano setting up an almost Genesis ala "After The Ordeal" feel. Twenty Five Winters has a tighter feel than the 70's output. The violin often takes center stage as the lead melodic instrument, but the keyboards and guitars also make their presence felt.

Hands offers up a plate of musical diversity, with each song having a unique identity. "Zombieroch (Pt.3)" shows more Gentle Giant influence with the quirky use of the electronic woodwinds in between the harder edged guitar parts. From the pop-like sounds of "Dance Of Light And Darkness" to the violin and piano duet "I Laughed Aloud," the band's focus is on the music, and not trying to create a particular sound. An engaging listen from start to finish.

[Aug 2009: I'm not sure if Shroom is still active as the site seems stuck in 2003; But you can (probably) still get your um? hands on the CD via the band's website ?ed.]

Knock/Enter (6:50) / Walls (4:15) / Green Room (pt. 1 & 2) (3:51) / Dance Of Light And Darkness (5:09) / I Laughed Aloud (2:46) / Zombieroch (pt. 3) (4:46) / Leaving (11:25): I. Song Of Summer - II. Vigil For One - III. The Traveler's Lament - IV. Above And Below

Rex Bozarth - electric and acoustic basses, Stick, cello, vocals
Michael Clay - piano, synthesizers, electric and acoustic guitars, electric woodwinds, devices, composer
Martin McCall - drums, percussion, noisemakers, electronics
Mark Menikos - electric and acoustic violins, mandolin, acoustic guitar, vocals
Ernie Myers - vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, composer

Additional musicians:

John Fiveash - drums (1-4, 6), backing vocals (1)
Steve Parker - backing vocals (1)
Chris Dulen - French Horn (7)

Hands (1977)
Palm Mystery (1996/1999) Prism Live 75-77 (1997)
The Early Years 1974-76 (2000) (Shroom Ltd Edition of 400)
Twenty Five Winters (2002)
Strangelet (2008)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: December 15th 2002
Reviewer: Eric Porter

Artist website: hands.wheelhouse-music.com
Hits: 727
Language: english


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