Author: John Metzger
09/25/2006 | Musicbox-online.com | www.musicbox-online.com | Album Review
Ladyfinger (NE)'s debut Heavy Hands makes up for its lack of subtlety with the punishing intensity of its raw, visceral delivery. The band begins its relentless charge by storming out of the gate with the explosive fury of Smuggler, and subsequent songs — Cause of Shame, Who Believes Enough?, and Too Cool for School, among them — wield a similar brand of wildly thrashing, exuberantly bombastic potency. In fact, by the time the set has ended, the ensemble effectively has connected the early, heavy metal escapades of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple with the more progressive leanings of Iron Maiden and the rapid-fire mayhem of Motörhead. Lyrically, Ladyfinger (NE) touches upon the disillusion of America's working class, and taken in combination with its aural assault, the album conveys the turbulence that inevitably grows from chronic disaffection. While the group's blend of crunchy rhythms, writhing guitars, and tormented vocals is certainly nothing new, its post-punk angst not only serves to keep much of Heavy Hands aloft, but it also allows the outfit to join label-mate Cursive in providing a counterpunch to Saddle Creek's typically brooding, indie rock fare.