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Hands - The Early Years 1974-76 CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.36 | 9 ratings

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2 stars One of the most overlooked US Prog bands, Hands from Dallas were formed in early-70's as Ibis, changing also several other names, with drummer John Rousseau, guitarists Steve Parker, Ernie Myers and Michael Barreyre, bassist David Carlisle and sax player Sonny Solell.Line-up changes were more than often for Ibis, who in 1975 were again renamed, this time to Prism, with Myers, Parker and Rousseau joined by keyboardist Michael Clay, violin player Paul Bunker and flutist Skip Durbin.These early days of the group were taped in a Shroom Productions CDR entitled ''Hands-The Early Years 1974 - 76'', released in 2000.

This document is not actually very representative of Hands' unique talent, containing only three original compositions and seven cover tracks.The common thing throughout the whole release is the problematic recording quality, which does not help very much.The first two tracks belong to Prism and were recorded in 1976, both of them made it to Hands' self-titled debut, and they are good examples of 70's Progressive Rock with nice instrumental work and demanding passages akin to GENESIS, GENTLE GIANT and JETHRO TULL, but the below average sound buries them significantly.The third track performed by Ibis is actually the only unreleased piece of the album.''Spacial Circumstances'' is an obscure arrangement of instrumental folky Psych/Prog with abstract organ themes and weird flute parts of limited interest.The next seven pieces are cover songs/compositions of famous Prog and Rock artists.The first four belong to Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson, PFM and Michael Urbaniak and show a talented band capable of performing any kind of Prog-related music, from the symphonic delicacy of PFM and the strange King Crimson textures to the more Fusion side of Mahavishnu Orchestra and Urbaniak.Most of them have also an acceptable sound quality.The last three are compositions by Allman Brothers, Johhny Winter and Frank Zappa, transformed by Prism/Ibis into adventurous jazzy Prog Folk experiences with the good use of keys, saxes and violins.

I would recommend this album only to fans of the band or die-hard 70's Prog collectors.The lack of original or unreleased material and, more importantly, the harmful sound of these recordings prevent this work from succesfully qualifying into Hands' discography, despite talking about a highly talented act.

apps79 | 2/5 |


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