Reviews

Heavy Hands

Author: Matt Schild
09/29/2006 | Aversion | www.aversion.com | Feature
With everyone from The Hold Steady to Wolfmother flexing classic-rock riffs, the rock is back in a big way in 2006 -- but that doesn't have to mean underground traditions get lost in the shuffle.

Enter Ladyfinger (ne). The Omaha, Neb. Outfit's debut, Heavy Hands (Saddle Creek) (read Aversion's review), the foursome whips up a big batch of rock riffs that's tempered by an ear for the same post-hardcore guitar tones that made Washington D.C. acts hot stuff a while back. The band -- which added the (ne) suffix to its name to avoid legal hassles with another band with that name -- is ready to rock you, as guitarist Jamie Massey told Aversion.

Q&A - Ladyfinger (ne)Your album struck me as being equally influenced by straight-up classic rock and D.C. post-hardcore. Is that a pretty decent way to sum up where you're coming from?

I think that pretty much sums it up. We aren't interested in rehashing music from 30 years ago, but also have no intention of following current trends. Our influences range from '70s classic rock to bands playing today.

It seems like the indie underground's had an ongoing infatuation with heaping praise on delicate and fey sounds while louder acts get a bit marginalized. Do you think it's about time for bands like you to come in and shake things up and bring some balance back to the underground?

I think there is a good amount of both indie type bands and more rock influenced bands around. Seems to be that depending on what mags you read or what you are into is what you are going to see more of. Being in a "louder" band, we are almost always going to be put on bills with like- minded bands. There are already bands out there shakin' it up. Who knows if that becomes the norm or if bands like Modest Mouse will keep bringing in the kids.

With Bright Eyes, The Faint and Cursive getting better known outside the indie world, how's that change things for a new band coming out of Nebraska? Does it make it easier or lead to expectations and comparisons that are kind of stilted?

As far as an unknown band like us to be on the same label as Bright Eyes, Cursive and The Faint, it can bring the fans of all of those bands to at least give us a chance. With the help of Cursive we have been able to get on some bigger shows and get some exposure that we would not have on our own. There is always going to comparisons and expectations from any label. Saddle Creek has always been pretty good about mixing up the bands on the label and we don't think there is going to be anyone thinking we are the next Bright Eyes.

The whole name-change fiasco came before you had your debut out there. Do you feel fortunate it happened when it did rather than, say, today, after albums were pressed and everything else was moving forward?

We could have probably left it alone and rolled with it. Long term we could have looked into trademarking the name and fighting the claim with the "other" Ladyfinger for trademark abandonment. With the promos already being pushed back for press and being out on tour we decided to change the name slightly so we could move on with our lives.

Heavy Hands

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