Open Hand hopes its not waiting in vain for
With the Kinison, Idiot Pilot, the Adored
and Vena Amori.
Former Shiner bassist Paul Malinowski co-produced Open Hand's You and Me, which explains the California-based band's fluency with the Kansas City sound. In addition to replicating the cryptic rhythms and mysteriously veiled melodies of albums that sat on Groove Farm's local shelf a decade ago, You and Me bears a striking likeness to current alt-radio darling Queens of the Stone Age. That band drags the stoner-rock tag, and groups that share its sound get tossed in the same pot, so Open Hand is merely guilty by association, like a nicotine-free bystander shrouded in a cloud of secondhand smoke. (However, its album artwork, with its multidimensional layers of sun-colored semicircles, could keep tokers occupied for hours.) Instead of playing at a plodding pace that only the addled could appreciate, it decorates hard-driving riffs with psychedelic accents. If anything, Open Hand cuts its songs too short on record, halting just when the grooves get going. Live, it lets each song run its riveting course.