Idle Hands (USA-OR)
Mana


4.5
superb

Review

by PsychicChris USER (289 Reviews)
May 10th, 2019 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: *Goth dancing intensifies*

Post punk and heavy metal have intermingled for decades now but up to recent years, it feels like the relationship hasn’t been explored to its fullest extents. Plenty of fusions successfully capture the dark, brooding nature of both genres but excursions that focus on their more upbeat aspects are much harder to come by. Idle Hands of Portland, Oregon successfully emulated that mopey danceability on their 2018 EP, Don’t Waste Your Time, and their first full-length album Mana examines the style even further to excellent effect.

The band dynamic best illustrates this concept in action. The guitars provide a perfect balance of styles as their simple leads and pulsating gallops are unified in an icy, hollow tone. Divergence can be seen in the drums and vocals as the former’s hard-hitting patterns stay securely in metal territory while the latter play like a disinterested yet distraught cross between Robert Smith and Nick Holmes circa late-90s Paradise Lost. I do find myself wishing that the bass lines were more prominent, especially due to how much they drive the rhythms in goth rock, but they are serviceable as is.

And with the songs all panning out to a three to four-minute average runtime, the album makes for a very breezy listen. The eleven tracks mostly consist of driving upbeat rockers, which can admittedly lead to some tracks running together. The sheer energy is more than enough to make up for it but there are plenty of catchy hooks as well. The bleak desert vibe on “Cosmic Overdrive” makes for an oddly effective hybrid of Judas Priest and The Jesus and Mary Chain while “Blade and the Will” is a lighthearted romp that works as well as it had on the band’s 2018 EP.

Fortunately, the full-length format also allows for more exploratory outliers. “Don’t Waste Your Time” (Oddly not an EP repeat) has a ballad-style somberness set to a Manowar-style march. There’s even room for more traditional gothic brooding as the unusually titled “Dragon, Why Do You Cry” pairs mid-tempo beats with the occasional spoken word segment while “It’ll Be Over Before You Know” and “A Single Solemn Rose” provide darker atmospherics.

Overall, Idle Hands’ first full-length album is a fantastically fresh fusion of post punk and traditional metal. While many of the tropes here were first posited on In Solitude’s already classic Sister, Mana presents them with more aggressive, tighter musicianship. It may be a shock to the system at first, but the songwriting keeps things consistently natural. If you’ve ever wished that Paradise Lost’s One Second had more double bass, consider this your new jam.

Highlights:
“Cosmic Overdrive”
“Don’t Waste Your Time”
“Dragon, Why Do You Cry”
“It’ll Be Over Before You Know It”
“A Single Solemn Rose”

Originally published at http://psychicshorts.blogspot.com



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user ratings (38)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
WatchItExplode
May 10th 2019


6681 Comments


sold


Digging: Pile - Green and Grey

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2019


11672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I'd compare these guys' music more to Beastmilk and In Solitude. Been jamming this one today quite a lot and, even though I enjoy it, it hasn't gotten me as excited as the EP.

Digging: Arch/Matheos - Winter Ethereal

RustCohle
May 10th 2019


277 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think you are mixing up post punk with Goth Rock a bit, this is a mash up of Goth Rock and heavy metal, but it has not much to do with post punk in my opinion, otherwise a good review.

Digging: Arch/Matheos - Winter Ethereal

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2019


8322 Comments


Post punk and goth rock are two sides of the same coin, sometimes different from each other, and sometimes practically the same thing.

Digging: Minuit Machine - Infrarouge

Papa Universe
May 10th 2019


21010 Comments


"Post punk and goth rock are two sides of the same coin"
they're derivatives of one another, but not the same

Digging: Rammstein - Rammstein

Papa Universe
May 10th 2019


21010 Comments


is this that goth dancing, Chris?
https://giphy.com/gifs/KzQB2cDOIxdHG

PsychicChris
May 10th 2019


319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

https://giphy.com/gifs/south-park-gif-goth-kids-PRELuG1jX892g



More like this, Papa.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2019


15808 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Interesting.

Digging: Full of Hell - Weeping Choir

chilledpunkrock
May 10th 2019


13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The singer's voice sounds to me like what the guy from Volbeat wishes he sounded like.



Just played this for someone and they said it sounded like "Castlevania metal." Not sure if they meant it as a positive but it definitely is for me, this thing is killer.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2019


15808 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So Tribulation without the death growls?

WatchItExplode
May 10th 2019


6681 Comments


Everytime time I want to dismiss this as samey it does something cool and unexpected

Hellscythe
May 10th 2019


3652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

whoa this fuckin rules

Digging: Bethlehem - Dictius Te Necare

Hellscythe
May 10th 2019


3652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is p much the lovechild of Judas Priest and The Sisters of Mercy

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2019


15808 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah it's cool.

Slex
May 10th 2019


6638 Comments


Why isn't the full album on Spotify

Digging: Tyler, the Creator - IGOR

Hellscythe
May 10th 2019


3652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's on bandcamp

Slex
May 10th 2019


6638 Comments


Ah okay cool, thanks!

Hellscythe
May 10th 2019


3652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

np. I checked out one song on YouTube after reading the review and immediately had to check if it was on bandcamp so I could buy it lol

Slex
May 10th 2019


6638 Comments


Heartily enjoyed the dragon song

Hawks
May 11th 2019


70675 Comments


Gotta czech this.

Digging: Full of Hell - Weeping Choir



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