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Hailing from Leeds, West Yorkshire, Hands of Industry have been playing live since 2013 and by taking influences from both 80s and 90s electronic acts are providing another welcome alternative to the myriad guitar bands. Unlike many electronic acts, H.O.I. opt to have live drummer rather than drum machine to give the more emotive human element that can often be missing from electronic music. It’s an effective choice and really will help them stand out.
This is their debut album release and we have to remark on the effective nature of the artwork; a superb striking image that really can help the album stand out. Inner artwork also compliments the whole atmosphere with bleak, stark images of decay and desolation along with choice lyrical quotes. So far so good but you may be wanting to know how the music stacks up and what it’s like right?
They describe themselves as falling somewhere around Depeche Mode mixed with The Sisters of Mercy and while to some extent we can see the Depeche Mode thing we don’t really feel much of The Sisters. If they must be compared to other bands then we would suggest there is a bit of a Numan thing going off, what with the live drums and the fondness for string synth sounds. Another band that springs to mind is Joy Division; the bleakness of the atmospheres involved and vocal tonality certainly bring Ian Curtis to mind.
There’s many a vocal hook on here that sticks in the mind long after you’ve finished listening and it’s a pleasure to hear some music that isn’t full of your typical arpeggios. There’s a lot of synth music that sounds rather like Erasure and while we’re big fans of Erasure here we don’t need 500 more Erasures. We always admire and appreciate something that does things a little different and H.O.I. please us immensely by not being just another copycat band.
While perhaps we could have used a little bit more variety in tone on the album it’s still not one that ever gets boring despite the tracks mostly being around the 5 minutes mark. Two tracks in particular that stick out are “It’s Not a Dream” and “It’s Not That Hard” which take a slower pace and have just that bit extra to stand out from the crowd, the latter certainly bringing Joy Division‘s Amosphere to mind. “Power in Silence” is probably the star track of the more upbeat songs with excellently timed vocal phrasing punctuating the music. If indeed you can truly call any of the album upbeat when we’re largely dealing upset most of the time.
Live dates at time of writing:
03 May 2015 MELLOR STOCK charity music festival
09 May 2015 THE CRESCENT PUB, Salford, supporting the impressive A.A.A.K ( As Able As Kane)
22 May 2015 THE DUBLIN CASTLE, Camden, London
29 May 2015 THE BLACK SWAN, Bradford, support from FACTORY ACTS (Salford) and DJ MARK M ( Mark Musolf)
Watch a live video of “Power in Silence” below: