Release Date: Jun 12, 2012
Record label: Warp
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Electronic
Few pieces of music can make you feel as though you’re directly caught in the streetlight-singed gleam of a huge, sprawling city at night, where you’re both self-aware and scared shitless. The neon signs of late-night greasy spoon joints and a haze of lights shine with a nauseating glow, somehow resulting in a reflective shimmer that’s beautiful and deceiving all the same. New York City twosome the Hundred In The Hands play meticulously crafted music of alleyways and the cracks in between the concrete, with eerie accounts that span sentiments of redemption, separation, misery, recovery and ultimately waiting for that moment where it all begins again.
Warp Records are back in electropop mode, showing the label’s now as comfortable playing ball with the industry as it is signing pill-fiends who’ll only release on wax. New Yorkers Hundred in the Hands fall somewhere in between: their debut was viewed as insurance by Warp’s die-hards; a unit-shifter that smelt like Crystal Castles, ready to be deployed in case of sales tailed off. That never happened, and the label have now brought Jason Friedman and Eleanor Everdell back for round two.
Red Night finds the Hundred in the Hands moving in a subtler, more expansive direction than the hard-edged electro-rock of their self-titled debut. While many groups would find such a change challenging, it actually suits THITH's strengths far better than their first full-length did. Their previous rock trappings are by and large gone, and when they do appear -- as on the dramatic opening track, "Empty Stations" -- they're tempered with a more sophisticated aesthetic that makes them part of the whole rather than the focus.
Ignore that date an inch or so above this thing, throw on Red Night, and ask yourself, "what year is this?" Do you want it to be 1999? You could do a lot worse-- Timbaland was at his creative peak, the strength of America's economy could be demonstrated by Memphis Bleek going gold, and you'll get to hear The Soft Bulletin for the first time again. Maybe you weighed 20 pounds less, too. Heady times, all around.
New York, post-punk. Dark, sweaty rooms. Electropop. New wave. The Hundred in the Hands’ self-titled full-length debut represents all those things associated with the de facto capital of the music world, as if the preceding decade had been building precisely towards that moment. Yet something ….
Occasionally baffling, frequently beautiful, UK label Warp can boast a seriously enviable canon. That canon is dutifully occupied by Brooklyn, NY's the Hundred in the Hands. Bound to appeal to those who find Radiohead's most obscure work too accessible, second LP Red Night (helmed by UK pop producer Richard X) is a foot-moving triumph of ennui, minor chords and warped FX.
The hype that surrounded Brooklyn duo Hundred In The Hands’ 2010 debut was, if you were to evaluate the band based on this second release, ‘Red Night’, slightly misplaced. Starting off with the excellent ‘Empty Stations’, the standout track amongst the album’s ten, those initial comparisons to hometown peers Sleigh Bells would appear well justified. On the face of it the two bands share a similar approach to their music - generally incredibly loud though rarely in the aggressive sense.