Sometimes being weird can be really annoying. Other times it can be really interesting. Alex’s Hand fall squarely into the latter category. The band write their own rules and seem willing to break their own rules if they feel like it. You really never quite know what is coming and that is a lot of fun.
“Künstler Scheiße” is an album of quirks, experiments and technique. If Mike Patton got together with Frank Zappa and wrote whatever the fuck they felt like, you’d have an idea of what Alex’s Hand are about. It’s talent that never takes itself too seriously. The lead track “Mars Travolta” does owe some to the Mars Volta but it might be even more wacked out than TMV. The jazz break in the middle is pure Mr. Bungle.
“Samba” is Santana being conducted by Zappa. “Mr. Bill” is reminiscent of early Mothers of Invention with a horn section added for good measure. The 14 minute “Slave” sounds like Alex’s Hand trying hard to fuck with the listener as much as possible. It’s off beat even for avant garde. At times it sounds like it’s going to be friendly but don’t get comfy.
For those curious how to be experimental and avant garde without sounding like complete shit, “Künstler Scheiße” is the blueprint for doing it correctly. It’s clear that this comes natural to them and that’s exactly why it works. They aren’t trying to be different, they just are.
1. Mars Travolta
3. Oh Bill
6. Back to Evan
7. Evans Lips