The Handful: Wooden Indian

Like a chariot storming the gates of Troy, this band digs in. When I first put this CD in my player and heard nothing but ambient noise I got prepared to be bored for the next several minutes. However, these guys had other plans because out of the murmur came the squeal of a guitar with some undeniably bluesy riffs and that lovely Hammond organ sound causing me to exclaim, “Yes!”

You know a band is doing something right when your foot picks up the groove under its own volition. Sometimes overindulgent soloing is just awesome. The solos on the first track aren’t the Malmsteen type, but they soar over the all the right parts you know that these guys are about to deliver an aural ass-kicking courtesy of rock ‘n’roll.

Let me just harp on the keyboards for a little. I usually think the keyboardist/pianist/organist is completely pointless in a metal/hard rock band. What do they really do? Rhythm? No, bass and drums have that covered. Leads? That’s what the guitars and vocalist do. Fills? Anyone can do them. Solos? Sorry, but, keyboard solos are best left in the ‘70’s. However, thanks, Jason Mischel for actually being a tolerable organist. Mark Duda is awesome, I love his voice—it reminds me of Buzz Osborne from Melvins and Ben Ward of Orange Goblin. His voice is undeniably manly but not in an annoying Viking Metal way. It sounds like he gargles gasoline, eats asphalt and washes it all down with nails. It’s just that awesome.

It’s always so great to review a good band from my native Jersey, one of the most fun things I’ve heard in a while

In A Word: Swaggering