The Grisly Hand

Album review: Dead Voices - Dead Voices (EP)

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
 
“Trust of a Fool” is one of the more straightforward efforts presented on Dead Voices’ self-titled debut EP. It would make for the perfect soundtrack for an episode where The Monkees dress up in cowboy hats and wreak hilarious havoc at a dude ranch run by some old crusty geezer named Cooter.
 
The EP is at the apex of its success when the band follows a looser devotion to the “twang rock” formula and allows the instrumentation to ebb and flow accordingly. “Dream Notes” is the prime example of this. With a beautifully constructed forty seconds of instrumental introduction, several well-placed beat changes, and a genuinely doting vocal performance, this song features some the strongest moments on the EP. Symphonic and long-winded in all the right ways, it comes across like Bob Dylan fronting some of the more introspective numbers of the Rolling Stones’ catalog.
 
“Rain or Shine” features the band letting its jam band flag shine a bit. “Whore’s Lament” returns to more straightforward country, picking and grinning its way across the land of tumbleweeds and minor. “Virginia Avenue” brings to mind the crackling audition of a shiny new Bell radio on the shelf of a stuffy electronics store in the mid ‘60s, the sounds of the service bell from the gas station across the street competing with the Buddy Holly-tinged shuffle composition.
 
At first listen as Dead Voices chugged along towards its conclusion, a thought kept crossing my mind: “Man, these guys would pair great with The Grisly Hand.” Much to my surprise—and enjoyment—Lauren Krum makes a wonderful guest appearance on the final track, “Pardoning.” Much as she does for The Grisly Hand, her vocals harmonize seamlessly with David Regnier’s to immense effect, elevating the otherwise square-shooting effort into something more dynamic and special. (Editor’s note: Matt Richey and Mike Stover are both members of Dead Voices as well as The Grisly Hand)
 
 
You can catch Dead Voices at recordBar tomorrow night, January 19, with Hadacol and Eric. The show starts at 10 p.m. Facebook event page.
 
--Zach Hodson
 
Zach Hodson is a monster. He once stole a grilled cheese sandwich from a 4-year-old girl at her birthday party. He will only juggle if you pay him. I hear he punched Slimer right in his fat, green face. He knows the secrets to free energy, but refuses to release them until Saved by the Bell: Fortysomethings begins production. He is also in Dolls on Fire and Drew Black & Dirty Electric, as well as contributing to various other Kansas City-based music, comedy, and art projects.
 

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The Deli KC's Best of 2013

(Photo above of The Grisly Hand, by Todd Zimmer)
 
Some of us here at The Deli KC (and a few other local music experts) have compiled our best of 2013 local lists. Here are a few of our picks…
 
Michelle Bacon, The Deli KC editor-in-chief
 
Top 10 albums of 2013
Ha Ha TonkaLessons
The Grisly HandCountry Singles
Tiny HorseDarkly Sparkly
The Latenight CallersSongs For Stolen Moments
Not A PlanetThe Few, The Proud, The Strange
ClairaudientsI’m A Loudmouth, You’re A Puppet
The Silver MaggiesMy Pale Horse
The Dead GirlsFade In/Fade Out
Freight Train Rabbit KillerFreight Train Rabbit Killer
Katy Guillen & the Girls…And Then There Were Three
 
 
Zach Hodson, The Deli KC contributor
 
Top 13 of 2013
The Grisly Hand – Country Singles
The Electric LungsSimplified and Civilized
Tiny Horse – Darkly Sparkly
The ACBsLittle Leaves
The Dead Girls – Fade In/Fade Out
Not a Planet – The Few, The Proud, The Strange
Mime GameDo Your Work
The Latenight Callers – Songs for Stolen Moments
The JinxedThe Loon
Erik VoeksFinulu
More Like GeorgiaMove On
The Octopuss MenMusic to Make Her Change Her Mind
 
Honorable mentions
BloodbirdsPsychic Surgery
SundiverThe Pull
Slum PartyFlood
Msg CtrlRolling Like a Stone
La GuerreViolent
Vi Tran BandAmerican Heroine
Man BearPower Slop
Crossed WiresCrossed Wires
 
 
Barry Lee, The Deli KC contributor / Signal To Noise on KKFI 90.1 FM
 
2013 list of homegrown specialties
Tiny Horse – “Ride” from Darkly Sparkly
The Dead Girls – “Love You To" / Signal To Noise’s Tribute To The Beatles at Knuckleheads, June 1
Cowboy Indian Bear – “Let It Down” from Live Old, Die Young
Ricky Dean Sinatra – “Werewolf” / Reunion show at Jazzhaus, July 20
Scott Hrabko – “Blue, Period” from Gone Places
Lonnie Fisher – “Ghosts Driving in My Van” from Ghosts and Dreams
Erik Voeks – “Hester A. Fish” from Finulu
The Quivers – “He Had It Coming” from Gots To Have It!
Betse Ellis – “Straight To Hell” / Wednesday MidDay Medley’s (KKFI) 500th show, November 20
Radkey – “Out Here in My Head” from Cat & Mouse
 
 
Danny R. Phillips, Deli KC contributor
 
Best album: Many Moods of DadThe Consequence of Trying
Best EP: Black on BlackGet On With It
Best song: Scruffy & the Janitors – “Shake It Off”
 
Other best albums
Pale HeartsHollowtown
Bloodbirds – Psychic Surgery
Missouri HomegrownYou Asked For It
Red KateWhen the Troubles Come
The PedaljetsWhat’s in Between
Stiff Middle FingersAt the Scene of the Crime
DsoedeanContinue to Move
The Grisly Hand – Country Singles
 
Best shows
Bob Mould / The Pedaljets at The Bottleneck, August 16
Lawrence Field Day Fest at The Bottleneck, July 11-13
Cupcake / Scruffy & the Janitors / Universe Contest at The Rendezvous (St. Joseph), March 22
 
 
 
 
Top 10 albums of 2013
The Grisly Hand Country Singles
Tech N9neSomething Else
Mark LowreyTangos for 18th Street
The ArchitectsBorder Wars: Episode I
Eddie Moore and the Outer CircleThe Freedom of Expression
AlaturkaYalniz
Reggie BDNA
Cowboy Indian Bear – Live Old, Die Young
Dutch NewmanSchorre's Son
AkkillesSomething You'd Say
 
 
Steven Tulipana, co–owner of recordBar / miniBar
 
Favorite recordBar moments of 2013
Kishi Bashi / Plume Giant, February 17
Sonic Spectrum’s Tribute to Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground, May 26
Bob Log III, July 23
Richard Buckner, October 30
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion / Kid Congo, October 7
Found A Job performs The Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense, November 29

 
Thanks for all your support this year! We look forward to hearing more excellent music in 2014.

Also, don't forget to visit www.voteformmf.com! We have tonight and tomorrow to vote for Midwest Music Foundation, so cast your vote now!
  
The Deli KC staff
 

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Crossroads Music Fest Highlights, 9.14.13

 
 
The beginning of fall also coincides with Kansas City’s Crossroads Music Fest, which entered its ninth year this past Saturday. This year, the fest covered six venues: Crossroads KC (behind Grinder’s), The Brick, Czar Bar, Midwestern Musical Co., Green Lady Lounge, and Collection.
 
Several local bands and a number of national bands graced each stage, a variety of music ranging from jazz to hard rock to soul to single acoustic acts to a 15-person outfit. Here are some of the highlights from earlier shows in the evening.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Crossroads Music Fest is organized by Bill Sundahl at Spice of Life Productions. It was co-sponsored by Midwest Music Foundation, Kansas City Lawyers & Accountants for the Arts, and FanAddict

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Album review: The Grisly Hand - Country Singles

 
(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
 
The thought of today's "country music" genre is enough to make this reviewer's skin crawl. Almost no other recollection is more irritating than the memory of high school dances gone by, predominantly backdropped with a Garth Brooks soundtrack. Flashes of two-step, ill-fitting cowboy hats and oversized belt buckles, some nasty substance called chaw, and off-key, twangy impressions spring to mind, stereotypical as they may sound. And if 16-year-old me knew that 30-year-old me would willingly and constantly blast a country album while driving around town, she would be wildly perplexed.
 
Fortunately, none of those memories is drudged up while hearing The Grisly Hand's latest full-length effort, Country Singles. The six-piece group masterfully composed twelve solid tracks (along with a special bonus track if you have the album; and if you don’t, get it now—you won’t regret it), presented in a way that brings a broad appeal to its music, yet maintains its core. Country Singles is still, in essence, a country album, but it incorporates a healthy blend of classic country with pop, rock, folk, blues, and soul influences. The personal touch each member contributes to each song provides an extra boost of originality and character, and the production by Joel Nanos at Element Recording invites a quality that reaches far beyond the typical lengths of a locally-produced record.
 
In previous works, the strength of each track was primarily found in the pristine vocal harmonies of Lauren Krum and Jimmy Fitzner. But with a careful eye on production by Nanos, a new combination of members (this is Mike Stover's and Matt Richey's first recording with the group), and an ever-maturing sense of songwriting, Country Singles stands out as a premier local album.
 
The characteristically pleasant vocal harmonies by Krum/Fitzner continue to pervade the majority of the LP, but they push through each track with a more confident collective voice and project a stronger personality through their colorful brand of storytelling. One of the best examples of this is on "(If You're Leavin') Take the Trash Out (When You Go)," a jaunty track that nonchalantly tells the story of a breakup, driven by Krum’s intrepid vocal delivery and Fitzner’s accompaniment. On this track—among several others on Country Singles—Richey shows his ability to outshuffle any drummer in Kansas City, helping carry a consistent heartbeat throughout the LP’s most classic country tunes.
 
Guitarist and mandolin player Ben Summers also puts his songwriting abilities on display throughout the album, on songs like “Municipal Farm Blues” and “Coup de Cœur,” a lovelorn duet between him and Krum, accompanied by Stover’s masterful, lonesome steel guitar work.
 
These are just small examples of the diversity of the LP, which is best captured in the middle of the album with “Amusia” and “Blind Horse.” While the first four tracks contain the signature Grisly sound, these two are direct counterpoints that retain just enough of the band’s style to shine slightly brighter than the others. The songs show a deeper side of the band, both in emotion and composition; and perhaps the album’s finest moments are found on these tracks. One is the haunting minor-note instrumental/vocal performance that resolves at the bridge of “Amusia.” The other sort of just occurs throughout “Blind Horse,” as the physical and emotional force of Krum’s voice is pitted against intermittent breaths of a simplistic but equally-as-compelling piano, also played by Krum.
 
Country Singles is The Grisly Hand’s finest work to date, because the band maintains its roots and style while integrating a variety of influences and emotions, along with plenty of humor (the idea and liner notes were inspired by a rural newsletter for lonely singles), dynamics, and depth. No doubt this is already a strong contender for local album of 2013.
 
Yesterday, The Grisly Hand released a video for “That’s Not Affection,” directed by Dan Myers. Check it out below!
 
The Grisly Hand is:
Jimmy Fitzner: vocals, guitar
Lauren Krum: vocals
Johnny Nichols: bass, keys, vocals
Matt Richey: drums
Mike Stover: steel guitar, bass
Ben Summers: guitar, mandolin, vocals
 
 
You can check out The Grisly Hand on a big stage this Saturday, September 14 at Crossroads Music Fest. The band will play Crossroads KC at Grinder’s at 8:10 p.m. You can buy tickets in advance at this link for $15, $20 at the gate.
 
 

--Michelle Bacon

Michelle is editor of The Deli Magazine - Kansas City, and also plays drums Drew Black & Dirty Electric and bass in Dolls on Fire and The Philistines. One member of The Grisly Hand claims to be toothless, and she knows which one it is. Do you?

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Album releases this week

April has proven to be a month of local album releases. Fourth of July, Cherokee Rock Rifle, Dead Voices, Radkey, and Reach have offered a variety of music this month, and this week with round it out with solid efforts from several bands.

Kicking it off will be Cowboy Indian Bear, who will be releasing Live Old, Die Young this Thursday, April 25 at Davey's Uptown with Palace and Heartfelt Anarchy. Show starts at 9:00 pm, $7, 21+. Facebook event page.

 

On Friday, The Grisly Hand releases Country Singles in grand fashion at Knuckleheads with Trevor McSpadden of The Hoyle Brothers and She's A Keeper. Show starts at 8:00 pm, $12 adv. Ticket link.

 

Soft Reeds will also release their second full-length album Blank City on the same evening at The Riot Room. They'll share the stage with Be/Non and Rev Gusto. Starts at 9:00 pm, $7, 21+. Facebook event page. Ticket link.

 

On the other side of the state line, Friday night at Replay Lounge in Lawrence will celebrate the release of Let's Get Cynical EP from Black On Black as well as The Consequence of Trying from Many Moods of Dad. Muscle Worship also plays. Starts at 9:00 pm, $3, 21+.

 

On Saturday night, Bears and Company will be releasing South of the Mountain at FOKL with Clairaudients and The Author & The Illustrator. Show starts at 8:00 pm, $10 adv (free download card available with pre-sale ticket), $12 door. Facebook event page.

 

Finally, Drew Black & Dirty Electric will be releasing its debut EP Dead Kings & Queens at The Riot Room with The Caves, The Sluts, and Knife Crime. Show starts at 9:00 pm, 21+, $5 adv, $7 door. Facebook event page. Ticket link.

--Michelle Bacon

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