We need more bands like Sex Hands. Bands who genuinely, unselfconsciously have fun with their music. Their instruments are barely in tune, their lyrics are often unintelligible, and their songs rarely stray from their trusted, noisy formula (somewhere between the boisterous, motorik punk of Parquet Courts and the hooky garage rock of Jacuzzi Boys). Yet despite – or perhaps thanks to – these amateurish tendencies, Pleh is an incredibly compelling debut.
Lead single “Pivot” is an early highlight, containing the record’s strongest vocal hooks, and the three songs featured on the 2012 split 12” the band released with Paws, Waiters and Dolfinz (“Gay Marriage”, “Chandler in a Box” and “The One Where the Stripper Cries”) are all excellent, Friends references and all. Despite the album’s thirteen-track length, not to mention the somewhat repetitive nature of the songwriting, Pleh never drags or outstays its welcome. “An Eight” closes the record in suitably madcap fashion, lurching unpredictably through a labyrinth of different tempos and screeching riffs until its abrupt end – a scream of desperation.
The only minor criticism one could possibly level at this record is that it is difficult to see where Sex Hands can go from here. Their shonky charm and understated ear for melody carries them effortlessly through the duration of Pleh, but they may need to expand on their sound a little if they are to pull off a successful follow-up. But then Sex Hands probably haven’t thought about their next move yet – they’re too busy enjoying themselves.