There are moments when you feel bad for New Zealand’s Cut
Off Your Hands, in the occasional echoes of The Strokes and Hot Hot Heat; as
if, rather than eighteen hours, there were a time difference of six years
between our two lands. Then there are beguiling moments of adolescent
greatness, blossoming under the tutelage of producer Bernard Butler (bombastic
arranger, uglier androgynous founder of Suede), as slick pop naturally flows
from their fingertips. On “Happy as Can Be” singer Nick Johnson leads a rolling
anthem, surrounded by an intoxicating swirl of strings and jangling guitar,
belting out sweet little nothings.
It’s a half-empty promise for You And I as “Expectations” quickly descends into watered down
post-punk resurgence. Throughout there are treats that dot the way (the
hand-clap happy “Let’s Get Out Of Here”) and it seems like a fair fight.
Ultimately, the skippably ham-fisted rockers win out, and it’s a loss. God bless the EP, because there’s hopefully
gonna be less need for filler.
Standout Tracks: “Happy
As Can Be,” “Still Fond” ZACHARY BLOOM