Monday, October 15, 2012

Indian Handcrafts: "Civil Disobedience for Losers" (album review)

Toronto's Indian Handcrafts make a whole lot of noise for a two-piece band.  The group will release their bombastic sophomore record, Civil Disobedience for Losers, on October 30th.

The spike in hard-rocking duos can be traced back to the success of Death From Above 1979.  Despite sharing an appreciation for the heavy, there are significant differences between DFA and Indian Handcrafts.  More methodically paced, Indian Handcrafts is more of a grind and pulverize as compared to DFA's slash and burn approach.

A 1970's influence can be found all over the album.  "Centauri Teenage Riot" is a mid-tempo hard rocker shrouded in the occult.  Beginning life with frenzied guitar riffage, "Starcraft" evolves into a sluggish "Buick MacKane"-like number.

The album standouts come back-to-back.  The first is the breakneck-paced "Terminal Horse", which seems to owe its very existence to Motorhead's "Ace Of Spades".  The next is deliberate, forceful anthem "Coming Home", which is the statement track of the album.

The rawness and free-form of Indian Handcrafts' songs is both a strength and a weakness.  It lends an authenticity to the music that is impossible to fake.  Unfortunately, too often the pair seem to lose control of the direction, and song like "Zombies" and "The Jerk" suffer for it.

The biggest thing Indian Handcrafts has going for themselves is that they have set themselves apart from the other two-piece rock outfits out there.  They need a little more focus and a little more polish to fully capitalize on that advantage.

Best tracks: "Terminal Horse", "Coming Home"

Track listing for Civil Disobedience for Losers:
  • Bruce Lee
  • Red Action
  • Starcraft
  • Zombies
  • Worm In My Stomach
  • Terminal Horse
  • Coming Home
  • Centauri Teenage Riot
  • Truck Mouth
  • The Jerk
  • Lion At the Door

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