Cut off Your Hands

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Cut off Your Hands

Vice, Wednesday, March 18

Cut Off Your Hands (Say Yeah) has already stumbled on one of the keys to life: underpromise, overdeliver. Using the New Zealand quartet's studio recordings, particularly Nick Johnston's slightly effete vocals as a guide, it's pardonable to expect something a little lightweight. So it was mildly surprising to have the band come out swinging. Literally. Johnston's throwing a couple of air punches on the first few chords of the opener got the crowd's attention. Dipping into the Mersey for the second song was totally forgivable, as guitarist Michael Ramirez went way more post-post-punk with it. Sadly, three or four songs into the set, after the could-possibly-be-an-indie-hit "Turn Cold," the band lost momentum. They tried to compensate mostly with tambourine, but the collective effect was more reflexive head-bobbing from some folks up front than full-on forearm pumping. So yeah, the bar wasn't set too high, but even after clearing it with room to spare, the final result was something more than "meh" but not quite "yeah!"

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