THE HIDDEN HAND (The Resurrection Of Whiskey Foote) CD
When Southern Lord released the third full-length of THE HIDDEN HAND, nobody would have thought, that this will be the last recordings from this band, especially because drummer Evan Tanner joined the band and tried to inject fresh blood with his style. At the end of 2007, the band split-up, and I must confess that I won't really miss them. I still rate Scott 'Wino' Weinrich as one of the best songwriters in heavy music, but I missed his genuine talent very often in THE HIDDEN HAND. But I can understand, that he wanted to explore new territories with his music, instead of doing a new version of his own former bands The Obsessed and Spirit Caravan. Despite of my sympathy, I always liked the songs more, which remind me to his earlier bands. When I compare the new album to the previous albums, this is the one which gives you the impression, as if The Obsessed Mk. IV have returned.
A song like 'Majestic Presence', that is just fuckin' awesome, sounds like a new slighty different arranged version of 'Streetside' from the 'The Church Within' album. Especially this last album from The Obsessed shines through some of the here recorded songs, and 'Purple Neon Dream', 'Dark Horizons' or 'Spiritually Bereft' are three further examples of songs, that could have been exhumed songs from 1994. Of course, this here is THE HIDDEN HAND, and so it's a bit more psychedelic and jazz-like, yet deeply rooted in Wino's musical past. The low points here are again the vocals of bass-player Bruce Falkinburgh, and the songs where he's doing the main-vocals as in the title-track or 'The Lesson', that isn't doing anything for me.
'Lightning Hill' is a blues-charged up-temo rocker with a lot of harp and slide-guitar, and it's the only song where I can stand Bruce Falkinburg vocals. The following 'Broke Dog' combines everything I don't like about this band, and not only the bassist's vocals wreck my nerves but also this lame second-grade riffing and the uninspired sounding combination of different themes. The last song 'Slow Rain' is showing the band, captured in their most psychedelic and progressive moments. Once again, all three musicians are playing excellent and in the middle of the song, the band surprises the listener with a part, where Wino is at his peak, and the rememberance to The Obsessed is directley on my mind. Despite of my personal taste and critics, this is my favourite album from THE HIDDEN HAND, due to above mentioned points, and I hope that Wino will go back into his past with a new band.....maybe a resurrection of The Obsessed Mk. I.....