Boise band Red Hands Black Feet should be hard to like. Their songs can be agonizingly slow, painfully noisy and structured as coherently as L.A.'s freeway system. But all those traits somehow combine and yet cancel each other out, revealing a powerfully thrilling sound somewhere between Explosions in the Sky and The Mars Volta.
Riffs from the two guitars move from lulling twinkles and a-melodic textures to vicious snarls of distortion, linked by buildups as foreboding as storm-clouds. With all the groundwork laid, their songs become long contemplations of mood that narrate an emotional journey with the rise and fall of the beat and harmonic tension. Essentially, film scores for films that don't exist.
Still, Red Hands Black Feet are not a band for everybody. They're experimental, instrumental and their songs can include moments of what could be interpreted as boredom, especially if you prefer an unrepentant three-chord pop song to the emo era's interpretation of prog-rock. But if you can set aside a few pre-conceptions, damn if they aren't one of the most likable bands you'll see locally.
- Josh Gross