2006 and 2007 saw the release of two eps, Shaky Hands and Blue On Blue, respectively, by Auckland’s power pop quartet Cut Off Your Hands, to be then strung together by never-ending bouts of touring. Well, finally October of this year has seen the release of their debut long player- You and I. This album sees a revisiting of some older favourites as well as some new, refreshing numbers laced with that light-hearted, simple sound. Though, it is a good album, I find myself to be fencing sitting, once again.
The Album opens with ‘Happy As Can Be’, setting the tone for the whole album, with an uplifting vigour that makes you smile. Definitely the anthem of the album, with booming drums, a quick guitar riff and echoy vocals that can be sung along with. You’ll be whistling this track within seconds. Track number two is ‘Expectations’, an old favourite from 2006. With its fast, metallic guitar it stays faithful to its original form, though is still refreshing to listen to. Though, You and I once again sees a rehashing of past numbers, with ‘Oh Girl’ following, from the Blue on Blue ep, lucky enough to also maintain its quaint, love-struck charm it did last year. New song ‘It Doesn’t Matter’ fits in well between the older reincarnations, making a great contrast with ‘In The Name Of Jesus Christ’, a slow acoustic number about losing faith, nothing like anything this band has done before from my knowledge, almost out of place when compared to the fast-paced pop numbers before and after it. Much like the albums opener, ‘Let's Get Out Of Here’ has that catchy, light hearted, smile educing appeal with a chance for you to clap your hands, before leading into ‘Still Fond’, seemingly lacking the ‘ooomph’ it did back on Blue on Blue, though the ‘Closed Eyes’ regeneration manages to stand strong. The album finishes with ‘Someone Like Daniel’, and like way of ‘In The Name...’ is another acoustic number about church or...something along those lines, leaving this mostly upbeat and happy band’s album on a bit of an anticlimax.
It is good to hear most of the older songs staying mostly faithful to what many people fell in love with from their eps, though still sounded fresh and engaging, sloting in well against the new songs. Though, for this band - live is where it is at!