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Cut Off Your Hands

Shaky Hands EP

(Speak N Spell; US: 9 Oct 2007; UK: Available as import)

The band was originally called Shaky Hands, but we’ve come to know another (ahem, better) band with that name, so this Auckland, New Zealand group’s switched it up to the moniker you see here. Cut Off Your Hands better portrays the group’s herky-jerk aggression, which aims to pick up where Test Icicles left off. With six songs clocking in at a total of under fifteen minutes, this debut EP’s an in-n-out affair—but it’s enough to make a verdict: the group is an energetic tribute to influences, little more. “You and I”, their single and lead-off track, mixes up the ultra-familiar 4/4 dance punk with a swinging, broken beat and a bass line that halts prematurely; combine that with a killer chorus and you’ve got the makings of something truly memorable. But over the course of the EP it becomes clear that the group can’t sustain an idea much past a couple of minutes, and the Franz Ferdinand-style delivery of the lead singer fails to really distinguish itself. True, this is a prototype of the sound the band’s since crafted on their NZ/Australian EP from July, Blue on Blue. But for now, like a pair of Ksubi jeans, Cut Off Your Hands may feel shiny and fashionable today, but next year you’ll wonder just what it was made you dance this way, in these tight-ass jeans, to this disposable amalgam of Bloc Party and Maximo Park.


Dan Raper has been writing about music for PopMatters since 2005. Prior to that he did the same thing for his college newspaper and for his school newspaper before that. Of course he also writes fiction, though his only published work is entitled "Gamma-secretase exists on the plasma membrane as an intact complex that accepts substrates and effects intramembrane cleavage". He is currently studying medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Cut Off Your Hands - You and I
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