Place Hands Inscribed in Glass

Toronto, ON four-piece Place Hands tap into ’90s hardcore with refreshing conviction and a unique voice. Themes of alienation and anger fuel the band’s frenetic sound, which easily conjures the pioneering work of peers like Blake and influences like Shotmaker. As they did in Burn Rome in a Dream, Lee Sheppard and Scott Ballem play guitar and bass respectively, though Sheppard also sings in a low, frantic, screaming rumble that works well on vividly drafted songs like "Detroit Heap” and "To Sleep.” Ballem is a remarkable bassist and has a crazed rhythm partner in Brandon Valdivia, a monster of a drummer who pummels "You, You, You” and "Bees” with uncommon sensitivity. Also of note, vocalist/guitarist Heidi Hazelton’s screeches infuse Place Hands with a particular tension, butting up against Sheppard’s voice yet emphasising any given song’s urgency. As she sings more melodically on "Garden” and "Streets,” the band’s ability to swing and massage a groove comes to the fore, and the rare, relevant power of Place Hands seems all the more dynamic. (Standard Form)