These Hands Could Separate the Sky – Save Yourself

These Hands Could Separate the Sky - Save Yourself

These Hands Could Separate the Sky - Save Yourself

Lots of bands have taken on the mantle of the “big sound.” You know, the music whose leader board consists of Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed, maybe Isis and Pelican. It’s usually done as instrumental but will have occasional vocal intrusions. It’s full of quiet, subtle passages followed by loud guitar rock. Some do it better than others. It’s increasingly hard to do it in a way that sounds original.

From Melbourne, These Hands Could Separate the Sky might be Australia’s leading light for this kind of music. It’s somewhat predictable, but well done. Its moments of intensity almost reach those of Mono, while its melodic passages do OK for themselves as well. The production, especially of the drums, has that older Chicago sound (Shellac/Albini) so somebody’s been doing some homework. “Break The Horizon,” which has the most shout-singing, sounds like Braid. Probably not the first time emo has run up against soaring power-noise, but it’s new to me. The song’s 3/4 time signature also distinguishes it from the pack. It’s got some swing to its power.

“She Turned to the Wind and Then She Was Gone” is a 2-minute atmospheric bit that breaks things up. “Patient Is The Sea” begins with languid drums and pleasantly echoing guitar. This one allows you to focus on the clarity of the production and engineering. You somehow know what’s coming though, and halfway through it gets louder for a few short stabs. By the end, this instrumental goes into shoegaze-like heaviness for another stretch before landing softly. “Save Yourself” gets quite heavy — and there’s some melody peeking out from the goes-to-11 volume. It’s 15 minutes of bliss for fans of the loud atmospheric stuff, especially in its ending few minutes. I don’t imagine these guys displacing the heroes of the genre but I can imagine them earning respect nonetheless.