Heavy Hands

Author: Dave Terpeny
10/22/2006 | | | Feature
'Straight Outta Nebraska' is hardly a calling card that a hard-nosed and gritty band would use. Then again one would assume that said band would not name itself after a delicate finger-shaped sponge cake or attach the afore-mentioned state's postal code to the end of the name. But then again Ladyfinger (NE) is not your typical band.

"To put it simply," guitarist Jamie Massey intoned, "we like eating explosive cake. And another band wanted too much money for the name Ladyfinger."

As you can see, Ladyfinger (NE) combines the straightforward eccentricity of the American Midwest with a musical passion that includes pile-driving rhythms, shredding guitars and introspective, alienated and wry lyrics, Ethan Jones (bass), Pat Oakes (drums), Chris Machmuller (vocals & guitar) and Jamie have created a shockingly good debut. The remaining question is how this band and this album, Heavy Hands, come about?

"The original line-up consisted of Pat, Ethan and Chris," explained Jamie. "They started getting together from the ashes of the bands Bleeders for Treats and Putrescence and writing some material. When the demo was in the process of being tracked Chris started coming over to my house to lay down some scratch vocals before going in to finish up. He had mentioned something about wanting to have another guitar player in the band and I was the only free shredder willing to hang out with all three of them. I guess they got lucky!"

Those couple of shows turned into tours with bands like Cursive, Criteria and STNNNG and a record deal with the famed indie rock label Saddle Creek, known for acts like Bright Eyes and the Two Gallants.

"There has always been a ton of support from other bands in the area," described Jamie. We got a lot of help with tours and just your friends always showing up to shows and Saddle Creek has been great."

ladyfinger2.jpgAnd finally at the end of September the debut Heavy Hands was released. Consisting of 10 blistering punk/rock/metal/pop fusion songs it reveals a modern stuttering rhythm, punk's buzzing wall of sound and an almost classic rock phrasing within the lyrics. The lyrics themselves range from the nihilistic "Who Believes Enough" through the droll "Too Cool for School" and the psychedelic horror of "Colored Lights."

"What inspires our songs," Jamie repeated? "The best I can say is that we all sit in the basement with some dragon leaf and twinkle around until it sounds right."

ladyfinger031806_2.jpgThat must be some powerful leaf. Either way, Ladyfinger (NE) is at the cusp of what could be a moderately successful career. What really matters, of course, is how well they can take the force and imminence of their studio effort and translates it live for the masses.

"The record as a whole is pretty much straight forward," Jamie explained, "and I think that they all translate well live. The process of trying to keep the live sound to a tolerable volume though is something we are constantly working on and completely failing at."
Heavy Hands

Heavy Hands

CD / MP3