Half-Handed Cloud I'm So Sheepy

Simply knowing that Half-Handed Cloud are friends with the Danielson Famile should give a huge clue to what to expect from these Californian oddballs. Half-Handed Cloud is the pseudonym used by John Ringhofer, and musically they fall somewhere between the aforementioned Danielson Famile and Neutral Milk Hotel. On I’m So Sheepy, Ringhofer tells Christian tales in a way that won’t garner any airplay on Christian rock radio stations. A sheep and shepherd theme runs through every song, but the religious nature of the material isn’t always obvious. A 12-minute EP might just be the ideal way to listen to Half-Handed Cloud because it prevents their own particular brand of music from becoming too overwhelming, something which it has done on both their full-length albums. The main problem here is that with ten songs in 12 minutes, some songs end before they’ve fully played out — being succinct is fine most of the time, but at times it is frustrating. Yet this is also one of the band’s strengths because no matter how strange things might get, they are never boring. (SD)