Hand Of Dust describe themselves as “apocalyptic folk”, which is pretty accurate in terms of the doomed tone of these songs. But that term misses out the amplified weight of much of this music, which sounds like it raging against whatever has been lost (from within a desolate desert). Like Breath Beneath a Veil is released by the Avant! label.
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- Like Breath Beneath a Veil by Hand Of Dust
8/10 Robin Staff review, 14 October 2015
Coming described as “apocalyptic folk” sends up alarm bells, as I’m pretty sure it signifies neo-folk, aka kinda gloomy, quite barebones, often very troublesome post-punk. In fact, Hand of Dust kind of recall the biggest neo-folk offenders, Death In June, but with more punk rawk bite: these songs thrash about in a venomous mix of callously toned guitars (at times like Iceage winding back their riffs, or like the discordance of Women tempered by the general vibe of Lust For Youth), seething drums and general darkened atmosphere. On entertaining a rhythmic, pulsating rock song, the band suddenly pull back, suddenly abstracting the progress for bare strums before rushing back in.
The general vibe is, as per its contemporaries and peers, overwrought: morose guitar duets hide from the light on “Clearly”, and macabre cries of “I was born in the summer! But brought up by winter!” rush through “Born In The Summer”. The dramatism of the vocals and the dour, dying guitars make a good mix, crafting two different types of nihilism: the noise-rock pungency sees the band crash onto a bed of cymbals, but the quiet guitar misery offers respite. It’s kinda cosy. It’s kinda chaotic. I like it way more than I reckoned at the start of this snarky review.
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