I'm guessing, but I reckon singer and ‘Hands leader Matt Eaton wrote most of these songs in the pub.
Actress Hands – Boys Need Jazz
Boys Need Jazz is a lovely lazy record, with a cracking opener, Can't Believe What I'm Hearing; which is a surprisingly menacing track given the nature of the rest of the set. I was expecting snarls aplenty after that one, but no. Key to Actress Hands' sound is a warm guitar haze which irons out any lyrical irritations and caustic observations in a faintly bucolic glow. I'm guessing, but I reckon singer and 'Hands leader Matt Eaton wrote most of these songs in the pub. Harmonies are the key on Boys Need Jazz; having all four band members intent on making some form of vocal contribution means Eaton's voice is pretty much constantly backed by at least two additional larynxes per song.
There are Big Star overtones aplenty. It must be the dramatic minor-major chord changes. Give Stitches a listen for proof. Or maybe it's the mid-paced tempo - so beloved of Chilton - that is also so noticeable on this record. There are moments when things kick off, The Reducer threatens to but resists, (just), thrashing out. Do You Have The Heart (possibly, with Loggerhorns, the best track on the LP) does raise the pulses, though the song contains a lovely refrain that threatens to go all acapella on us... Best is saved till last, Loggerhorns opts for telling it as it is; a great bitching put down with a powerful tail out. Great stuff.
Words: Richard Foster.