Concerts Concerts Musical Chairs with Hands and Teeth

Musical Chairs with Hands and Teeth

Hands and Teeth at Horseshoe Tavern
Hands and Teeth
Army Girls, Honheehonhee
Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, ON
January 17, 2011

Photos and Review by: Amanda Macchia

Hands and Teeth are revelling in their own version of musical chairs.

Hands And Teeth

As challenging as it is to describe any musical experience in words on a page, be it live or recorded, attempting to translate the sound of this Toronto five-piece to the written form requires an even greater effort than usual. Four out of five members of Hands and Teeth share vocal leads and most of the band-mates are multi-instrumentalists, trading instruments and gear onstage and rotating between microphones.

Much of what is found on the band’s latest full-length release, Hunting Season, and what is heard during their live performance is intricate musical arrangements, clouded with formulaic elements that appear to have been carefully calculated, which may be an acquired taste for some listeners. But the consistent melodic ingredient that exists in the majority of their work adds comfort to their captivating, yet sometimes perplexing, sounds. And when they perform songs like "Help Me" and the title track from their new LP, which features what sounds like less ornamentation and more like early rock n' roll influence, Hands and Teeth are in their element entirely. The audience reaction to these upbeat, colourful moments is so evident it nears tangibility, and it is undoubtedly positive.

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Army Girls

Army Girls, the two-piece guitar and drum outfit that preceded Hands and Teeth, are a one-guy-one-girl package that brought their own take on garage pop to the Horseshoe's stage (don't think White Stripes). Their reverb-coated guitar riffs created a pleasingly rough texture for their corresponding warm melodies, and proved two instruments can suffice for a heavyweight band.

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Honheehonhee

As for the show's closers, Montreal's Honheehonhee, there is certainly something satisfyingly abnormal about them. Their live show is a conglomeration of synths and merciless rhythms, paired with half-naked men, diving bodies, and onstage dance parties – if that’s what you're into.

Info: Honheehonhee
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Music: Shouts

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