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The Bloody Hand

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Album Review

Frog Eyes' 2002 debut catches the volatile British Columbian art rock quartet in the violent spasms of birth. With typically verbose and image-laden titles like "Fox Speaks to His Wife Who Is Not Quite Sure," "Silence But for the Gentle Tinkling of the Flowing Creek," and "Mayor Laments the Failures of His Many Townfolk," The Bloody Hand listens like a Kafka novel, peppering its tormented characters with arrows against a backdrop that feels more like a fevered nightmare than a cohesive narrative. Vocalist/guitar player Carey Mercer's Lux Interior meets Birthday Party-era Nick Cave vocals match the audio scenery like a corpse at a murder scene, and the group's complex noise rock arrangements constantly reveal themselves to be obsessively orchestrated marvels of terror, but there's so much volatility happening that the overall feeling is one of complete and utter suffocation. Listeners looking to add a few tracks to their road-trip playlists will find nothing but evil within this Bloody Hand, but those who find themselves aching to be butchered alive on-stage at an early-'90s lo-fi Skinny Puppy concert will rejoice in the heart-bursting onslaught. [The 2006 reissue includes nine bonus tracks.]

Biography

Formed: Victoria, British Columbia, Canad

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Victoria, British Columbia, quartet Frog Eyes are the antithesis of their quiet Canadian village. Utilizing the carnival atmosphere of Rain Dogs-era Tom Waits, the frenetic energy of vintage Cramps, and the diabolical scheming of pre-Murder Ballads Nick Cave, the post-punk collective created an atmosphere of psychedelic unease with their 2002 full-length debut, The Bloody Hand. Lead singer Carey Mercer, who mined similar territories in his previous group, Blue Pine, leads the indie rock ensemble,...
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The Bloody Hand, Frog Eyes
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