Hands
Give Me Rest


4.0
excellent

Review

by VJ90 USER (13 Reviews)
July 18th, 2012 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Stars are not as small and meek as they appear.

Outer space has always fascinated inquiring minds. Even with both feet planted firmly on the ground, those curious about what stretches beyond us have their heads, quite understandably, in the clouds. An innocent curiosity prevails, one hardwired within every being’s very fibers featuring questions running the gamut from the astrological in questioning man’s place among the stars to the spiritual, in pondering mortality and weighing whether that spacious stretch above us holds the potential to harbor our souls. It’s fitting then to recognize the artwork of Hands’ Give Me Rest and the constellation silhouetting the body of a being as the trio’s third full length not only deals with existential conflict, but also presents a dynamic collection of music broad enough to represent those massive existential questions begging to be resolved.

Like a seemingly tiny star fixed within the sky, Hands – Shane Ochsner on guitars and vocals, Chris Schwartz on bass and Josh Silbernagel on drums – is much more powerful than an initial glance at this trio may reveal. In fact, opener “I Will” should shed any skepticism of Hands’ sonic strength with the raw opening of Ochsner screaming “Rise, from the quiet I will rise/can you feel the anger in my heart/I can’t believe this is me” over a tense drumbeat. It’s a stirring beginning, but the piece only builds from there, eventually flaming out with an Isis-esque wall of guitars and lower-register bellowing, showcasing the range of Ochsner’s screaming. If anything, “I Will” serves as a fitting preview of Hands’ moody mix of hardcore and ambience, not unlike the heady Misery Signals. “The Helix,” a lengthier offering at over six minutes, unfolds with Ochsner abandoning a roar for a whisper as the delicate backdrop of reserved picking and careful drumming wanders carefully. Roughly four minutes in, that frail soundtrack begins to crack as Ochsner’s tenor becomes strained before completely shattering with an ending crescendo of merciless chugging and fierce screaming. Not only does “The Helix” possess the most unforgiving moment within Give Me Rest, the track also hints at the softer, more pensive qualities that Hands’ music features.

Hands is a group much more interested in marrying sonic extremes – such as post-rock’s muscular riffing and ambient music’s sparse soundscapes – than settling for monotonous middle ground and because of this the trio captures the push and pull of conflict effortlessly. With a gloomy bassline, “Here I Am” starts slowly and finds a desperate Ochsner wrenching his singing voice above a subdued melody pleading and begging for God to open his eyes and awaken his dormant soul. “Restart,” on the other hand, explodes with charging guitars and the screamed lyrics of “I can feel my heart giving in/to the weight of your design/and like a remedy/you are fixing me/while the world has left me blind.” What comes after this outburst is just short of breathtaking as the trio settles into a shimmering verse that is borderline Futures-era Jimmy Eat World with its touching tune before the piece rises again to its anthemic, screamed refrain. “Restart” can only be regarded as a frustrated, spiritually exhausted worship song and a gorgeous one at that, sure to pull on the heartstrings of listeners while transcending religious views. This happens to be the true beauty of Give Me Rest as this is an album that will make listeners think as much as feel.

On a whole, the record’s only downfall is the nonchalant “Water.” Although other selections on Give Me Rest admittedly take a few spins to reveal their nuances, the aforementioned track – featuring guest vocals from A Hope for Home’s Nathan Winchell – never leaves a memorable impression. Fortunately for fans of the band, “Water” is the only forgettable track of the set as Give Me Rest gradually improves as the pieces pass by.

It should not come as a surprise that Give Me Rest is as emotionally arresting as the record is. Merely tuning into the passionate performance of Ochsner is evidence alone. Coupling the towering menace of post-rock and the reserved splendor of ambient touches with such a narrator only intensifies matters, awarding the ten compositions here a rare dramatic flair. Not only then is it convenient that Hands is willing to challenge matters of faith, mortality and mere existence, it seems rather appropriate. Give Me Rest is an album that melds the harsh with the heavenly, daring the curious to question their place amongst the stars, while providing the light of passionate, heartfelt music to illuminate their way.



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user ratings (155)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Aziz STAFF (3.5)
Don't rest on this album, you'll regret it....


Comments:Add a Comment 
VJ90
July 18th 2012


128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for contributing constructive criticism and/or being mature. 18% approval rating? Looks about right.

sixdegrees
July 18th 2012


17723 Comments


he's neg'd and spammed all of the reviews on the front page. Just ignore him until the mods deal with it.

Digging: Sputnik - Christmas At Our House

VJ90
July 18th 2012


128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I understand. Thanks a lot. I will do just that.

Spec
July 18th 2012


27298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm not even gonna try to read the review until the page is fixed. Great album though.

bloc
July 18th 2012


35024 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album is absolutely fantastic. One of my favourites from last year.

Spec
July 18th 2012


27298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Agreed. 'Here I Am' is just perfect.

VJ90
July 18th 2012


128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys. Obviously, I wholeheartedly agree. "Here I Am" is probably my favorite song of theirs period. It's too bad they are calling it quits. They were really coming into their own.

Spec
July 18th 2012


27298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah from what I heard from their earlier work, it didn't even come close to this.

bloc
July 18th 2012


35024 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's too bad they are calling it quits.

!!!!!!!!!!!

Spec
July 18th 2012


27298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks to everyone who made our final set at Sonshine Festival a great time tonight. We're grateful for the many years we've been able to take part in that awesome fest and you sent us out with a bang. Two shows left... details will be forthcoming.

:'(

Scoot
July 18th 2012


17914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sweet album, the helix is amazing

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache

VJ90
July 18th 2012


128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Kill, I am assuming you enjoyed "Water". I offer you my condolences. Yeah, Hands is done for. I think Shane is starting a new project.

VJ90
July 18th 2012


128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

~*~Give me rest~*~ from these trolls.

Spec
July 18th 2012


27298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That's not KILL it's Birthrite again.

VJ90
July 18th 2012


128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Keep talking !@#$%^&* cuz its making me famous♥

Spec
July 18th 2012


27298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

OH GOD IM BEGGING YOU NOW OPEN UP MY EYES

cvlts
July 18th 2012


8985 Comments


lol sup dude

wacknizzle
July 18th 2012


13696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet review. I've had this album for a while but I haven't fully indulged, it's about time I do that.

Digging: Phobocosm - Deprived

Spec
July 18th 2012


27298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah it is.

wacknizzle
July 18th 2012


13696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, your writing is really good man. Your descriptions are very similar to how I try to review albums(which I need to start doing again).



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