Stoner/Hard Rock
Punk/Power Pop

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Hidden Hand | Divine Propoganda | review | rock | Lollipop

The Hidden Hand

Divine Propoganda (MeteorCity)
by Craig Regala

Wino: Grand old man of grizzled hardcore-scarred hard hard HARD rock leads his most flexable/traditional unit so far. He's a guy whose positioned in stoner rock like Ian "Lemme a fiver will ya?" Motörhead is in fast action roots metal. Lotsa kudos, not much sales. Why? Well, let's say once a band is past providing a "moment," it's back to the old rules. That moment includes extra-cultural pop concerns of the "we're the new generation, and we got something to say!" variety (cribbed from The Monkees theme "Hey, Hey We're the Monkees"). I'm prone to saying "people don't like a buncha music in their tunes," and hey, it's often true. Example: Staind's success comes like Pearl Jam's before'm: As balladiers. Like Sinatra for your Great Gramma, Elvis for your Gramma, Jim Morrison for your Ma, and Mr. weepy over there in Staind for you. All these musical units had more to them than pure vocal pop, but that's the first thing a mass audience fed by electronic media grasps. If they can associate the music with "that" image, maybe the band can get over.

The Hidden Hand started with the music, nothing but the music. Honing the 18 months when blues rock was mutating into proto-metal via burned over pshychedelia, the bad acid wah-wah pedal stuff just post '68. Packed tight by guys who really give you your bong-loads worth. Thing is, what do you do with something so full-on, but still stark in its presentation? Taking doom back to its roots and subtracting the mysticism and wonder... Well, emotionally, it's a hard thing to latch onto unless the composition of the stuff is completely engaging. For me, it's not, even as I like bits and pieces, and the playing is precise and focused. If the "message" (conspiracy theories about the U.S. Government, mainly), interests you, it may provide the hook you need to imbed the "not giving up, not giving in" backbone the music and voice deal out.
(PO Box 40322 Albuquerque, NM 87196)


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