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Cloud Becomes You Hand – “Rock Or Cakes” – [Feeding Tube Records]

Naysayer   4/30/2014   12-inch, A Library

“Rocks Or Cakes” by the Brooklyn quintet Cloud Becomes Your Hand is one of the best things I have heard in a long time. Might I be influenced by the fact that it is released on Feeding Tube Records? I might. Might I be influenced by the fact that I can not quite figure it out? Most definitely. Listening to the sounds on this LP make me realize that sometimes things come about that are different yet familiar and that makes it all very good. Part prog rock but not, part psych but not, some Captain Beefheart maybe, child’s toys, art school stop and start playing, is that a calliope?, am I at a carnival?, wait it’s jazz or i don’t know, ohh xylophone, ummm 60’s movie soundtracks my favorite, old tweeky synthesizers, a violin stretched to the limits, underwater, marching drums and on and on and on.
Now this could come off as horribly pretentious but it is not. It could sound just too much or bad messy but it is not. The ten songs on this album, each with clever title, offer a well played series of songs that are challenging but not ripping your face off. They are enjoyable and might make you smile, gods forbid. A song may start with a simple rhythm or not, led by guitar or not and soon other instruments join in or don’t and the rhythm may get stuck in you head but then it changes pattern, timbre, instrumentation. A tambourine may lead with simple synthesizer lines and odd sound effects then an old wire is plucked, in comes the casio, etc, etc, etc, smoke a bud or eat some candy. The instrumentation and musicianship is tight. Stellar. The lyrics are like the music: odd and recognizable and comfortable and scratchy all at once. And yet it all sounds so familiar. How did they do it? I love it! Byron Coley loves it! Our listeners will love it! Love it!

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