BEST ROCK BAND - 2008
From Portland to Princeton, the blogosphere hums with whispers about Vampire Hands, and not one LiveJournal has been able to muster the ironic sneer necessary to make a single "they suck" joke. In the last few years, which have seen the local four-piece release two EPs (At Wizard Island: Too Punk to Fuck and Cuz It's a Beach Funeral), and an LP (Virgin Dust American Lips), Vampire Hands have emerged as the band that inspires concert-goers to exchange mutual "holy shit" glances between every song. Colin Johnson's garrulous scream is a perfect foil to bassist Chris Beirden's chilling, fragile falsetto, and their vocal interplay is effortlessly sustained by a Gothic, Germanic pop glisten that, thanks to the guitar and drum work supplied by brothers Chris and Alex Rose, evokes Eno and Neu! at their most challenging. Me and You Cherry Red, their brand-new full-length, is their most dizzying release yet, and it comes packaged with the suspicion that Vampire Hands may be too precious to hold tightly. Whether it's their steady upward trajectory, the national promise that accumulated around their recent tour with Thunder in the Valley, or simply their visceral and hypnotic songwriting, their shows and albums leave behind the sense that something of great rarity has been imparted, and that we better enjoy Vampire Hands at the Turf Club while we can.