Every now and then something really good comes creeping up from the underground and gives more established names a run for their money when it downs to songwriting, musical audacity and sheer originality. Kampen-based Dutch rock act The Good Hand are one such band…
“Atman” is the band’s second full length album. It’s not they set out to rewrite the stoner rock rulebook, but it’s rather their original and innovative spin on the genre as a whole and their considerable songwriting skills that set them apart from most of their peers. Their new new record is just as wonderfully diverse as it is adventurous. A great example is the folk/bluegrass inspired ‘Toll’ which works amazingly well in tandem with more straightforward rock songs like ‘Truth’, ‘Namaste’ and ‘Introvert’.
Other mentions should go the title track, which is a ten minute plus prog-inspired trip through the four corners of the The Good Hand’s musical universe. Also the use of the brass instruments in ‘Enough Is Enough’ and ‘Nature’s Will’ is a very nice touch. It serves as yet another testimony to the musical vision of singer/guitarist Arjan Hoekstra and his partners in crime. Pretty much all the songs will work well in a live setting, however ‘Death Of The Real’ aka ‘Hollywood Bungalow’ is destined to become The Good Hand’s landmark like ‘Stairway To Heaven’ is for Led Zeppelin or ‘One’ and ‘Enter Sandman’ for Metallica.
If you’re into bands like Queens Of The Stone Age or latter-day Soundgarden and you don’t mind a fair bit of Radiohead-inspired experimentalism or a slight touch of King Crimson-like madness, then “Atman” by The Good Hand is your jam. Ladies and gentlemen, this is as good as it will get as far as stoner/psychedelic rock goes this year. This record will make it to my year list, come hell or high water!