After a couple of singles and EPs on esteemed (and diverse) local Electronic/EDM label Racecar Productions, local electronic Coldwave/Darkwave duo Skeleton Hands present a free album release party this Saturday at Northside venue Mayday. The twosome will be joined by labelmates The Librarian and Ellie Herring for the 9 p.m. show (open to those 21 and up only), which celebrates the release of Skeleton Hands’ strong full-length debut, Gone. DJ Empirical and KFrey will also spin between sets.
On the releases leading up to Gone, Skeleton Hands — which features Lazer Bat (aka Evan Scott Sharfe) on vocals, guitar, bass and synths and Astro Wolf (aka Chase Anderson) on guitar and synths — introduced themselves as a group that expertly revises the dark Post Punk sounds of legendary bands like The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Those prior releases helped establish the band’s online presence, earning positive notice from music sites around the globe.
Gone is the culmination of their work so far, wonderfully produced and showcasing the growing songwriting talents of Skeleton Hands as they begin to develop their own more distinct identity. The album makes for an hypnotic listening experience, though it’s still hard to not be reminded of their forefathers/mothers, as the band’s sound also includes fairly apparent dashes of Goth and Synth Pop influence, at times resembling a perfect combination of early Cure, prime New Order and mid-period Depeche Mode.
The album’s atmospheric glaze is mesmerizing — along with the more rhythmic synths, the hovering aura anchors the songs on Gone, allowing the group to drizzle their delicious guitar trickling and deep, melodic vocals atop with artful elegance. Among the highlights are “Robot,” which has some of the best melodies on the record, the relatively funky Electro groove of previously released single “Ghost” and closer “City Lights,” which sounds like the moment Joy Division officially morphed into New Order.
Ultimately, Gone should appeal strongly to anyone who loves early Synth Pop and Post Punk, but also younger fans who might not know who Robert Smith is, but still enjoy the many diverse, creative contemporary Indie/Electronic artists thriving today.
Skeleton Hands teamed with filmmakers Josh Chiara and Thomas Stemrich to make a music video for another album highlight, the winding “Oxygen.” To complete the project, the duo has gone to its fans, launching an Indie Go Go campaign for financing.
More New Local Releases
• Stellar veteran Outlaw Country great Dallas Moore and his band will celebrate the Jan. 29 release of their latest full-length, Blessed Be The Bad Ones, with a performance Saturday at Coyote Ridge Saloon (1250 Hamilton Lebanon Road, Monroe). Pure Grain — Moore’s labelmates on the regional imprint, Sol Records — open the show at 9 p.m. Moore’s national profile continues to rise — a music video for “Crazy Again” (featuring Willie Nelson cohort Jody Payne) dominated the charts at online Country site Yallwire.com in 2012, scoring a nomination from the site for “Best New Artist Video.” (Moore reports on his site that, while the group received more votes and views than the competition, they ended up not winning for reasons unknown). That video started the anticipation for the “Bad Ones” title track, the video of which (see below) seems to be following in the footsteps of “Crazy Again,” once again garnering numerous spins on Yallwire. For more on the new album, visit dallasmoore.com.
• The duo Pure Predication is set to unleash its first album, Junk Shit for Brains, through Ohio label Hard Body Sounds this Saturday. Lo-fi rockers Jeff Predication (guitar/vocals) and drummer/”one man band” Pure Mike formed the project a couple of years after meeting while working in Over-the-Rhine together and writing songs about their OTR surroundings. Since then, the duo has become a bit more serious about the band, touring the region on a fairly regular basis. Shit for Brains is a raw but fun listen, recalling early, trippy Garage Rock filtered through a Post Punk lens. The band is hosting a release party for the new release on Saturday at a warehouse party in OTR (visit facebook.com/purepredication or click here for details). On Sunday, the twosome will promote the new release at Everybody’s Records in Pleasant Ridge. Hard Body is presenting a “Pizza Party and Cassette Appreciation Day” at the shop starting at noon. In honor of Hard Body’s dedication to cassette-only releases, musicians will be playing their favorite tapes throughout the day. The live lineup includes labelmates Eric Stein & The Grotesque Brooms and fellow cassette-enthusiasts, local Noise Pop crew Tweens. PP performs at 2 p.m.