Release Date: Aug 16, 2011
Record label: French Kiss
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, New Zealand Rock
I saw Cut Off Your Hands live in 2007. They had just lost a gig on a children's TV show in their native New Zealand because of their name. When they were booked for the performance they'd been called Shaky Hands, but a threat of legal action by the Portland band Shaky Hands forced them to change it. Their somewhat sarcastic choice of a new moniker cost them a payday.
Three years after their debut, You and I, Cut Off Your Hands returned with Hollow, which featured new guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Lee as well as a revamped sound. The spiky post-punk-isms and experimental ballads of their first album were replaced with a shimmering sound that evoked the breezy melancholy of the Smiths as well as the grooves of late-‘80s Manchester. Hollow's finest moments channel the energy the band had on You and I into this smoother approach: opening track and lead single “You Should Do Better” bounces along on guitar filigrees and singer Nick Johnston's newfound croon.
O the halcyon days of indie! In our bedsit slums we were recast as triumphant Kings and Queens. Princes of the Gutter! An armour of thrift store shabby chic. We built our empire within the mirrors of magical record sleeves, trailing vicariously in the footsteps of a seer’s serenade. The rain fell as diamonds, the moon was our spotlight.