Pleasant but forgettable alt-rock
Northern California-based Jake Mann and his band The Upper Hand play fairly generic alt-rock with an affinity for slow tempos and inoffensive guitar playing. If anything, the band could benefit from a few more rough edges to liven up its sound. That said, a couple of good songs stand out. “Say It’s Fine” introduces some psychedelic guitar noodling and studio effects into a six-minute-plus jam. “Facing to the Sun” channels a spacey country vibe. Album closer “Signals (Reprise)”—a neat bookend with opening track “Signals”—clocks in at over nine minutes. Its softly repetitive final minutes might strike some listeners as about as fun as watching paint dry, but it’s just the thing for those long winter plane rides across the Midwest. Trust me.
- Multiple songs MySpace