Cold Hands – s/t

It’s not that the members of Cold Hands can’t play or that the band doesn’t sound good. They can and it does. It’s just that the five songs on their new EP have the distinct ring of that other band whose first name also has an “o” with three consonants and whose last name also has an “a” with four consonants: Bloc Party.

Though largely aping Bloc Party, Cold Hands has probably also been listening to The Editors and Maximo Park as well. Cold Hands belts out these five songs with the requisite urgency, especially on “Armani,” and adds in an element of dance-rock that sometimes goes missing with acts like this. The songs combine melody and catchiness as well as do most of their influences. And a point of good news: none of these songs drags along dirge-like, which can kill a release like this (why do so many bands think that overblown ballads solidify their “sensitive artist” statuses when really they just inflict boredom?).

If you were to throw any of these songs on a mix CD with the above-mentioned bands of the British vanguard, listeners would probably not even take note. That is, Cold Hands has appropriated the vocabulary quite exactingly, which says something – and clearly the band is talented. For those who haven’t had enough of this sound yet, or those who have found themselves disappointed by the recent Bloc Party output, Cold Hands might be a nice holdover. But until the band steps out of its predecessors’ shadows and injects more of its own personality, its real talents may go unnoticed. I hope that Cold Hands follows up this EP with a full length that expands the sound and mixes in something unexpected. The band’s promise leads me to believe that it’s capable of more than what we hear on this EP.