Dead Man's Hand

Dead Man's Hand EP

Written by: PP on 31/12/2015 14:18:53

Typically, there are two kinds of rock bands in Denmark. Those who have ambitions to write challenging music that's in some way original and has a unique twist to it that differentiates them from the crowd. For example, Suits Boulevard, Lucer, Bersærk, Kill The Rooster and many others breathe fresh air into their respective genres. Then there are those who can't get past their Guns 'N Roses records and 80s hard rock worship beyond "guys let's play some classic rock" attitude. Dead Man's Hand from Copenhagen falls squarely into the latter category with their generic, cliché hard rock expression on their self-titled debut EP.

The influences are clear from the get-go. Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Police, Guns 'N' Roses, and other classic rock bands rank high up on members' favorite artists, that much is clear from the acoustic ballad "Schizofrenic Mind" (sic), or from the soft strumming that opens the larger-than-life hard rock melody of "Chains". The vocals range from soft croons that echo Lifehouse's half-grungy approach to the throats-flailing, vibrato style rock'n'roll scream that Axl Rose used to sport. Riff-driven guitars and flashy solos complete an 80s rock expression that's about as original as a sheet of white paper. Sorry boys, but that's just not going to cut it in 2015, especially when our inbox is literally exploding from identical sounding bands who all missed the cue about rock music moving on during the 90s and 2000s. You need an ounce of originality before someone will care, a good example is the revivalist classic rock resurgence where bands like Wolfmother, The Vintage Caravan, and many others do basically the exactly same thing but with a modern, updated twist to the expression that makes their material relevant. That word can hardly be used when talking about "Dead Man's Hand" EP.

Instrumentally and vocally, there's nothing to complain about, of course. The guitars are proficient, the vocals decent, and the production is geared right towards the old school sound. But since the songs are no hard rock hits, it's impossible to avoid comparison to similar songs that are. Stuck in the 80s, the EP feels like playing Guitar Hero 3 with all its classic rock songs, which is fun for a little while before you start longing for something more modern and relevant instead.

Download: Payback
For the fans of: Guns 'N Roses, The Police, Lynyrd Skynyrd
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.05.2015

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