August 21st, 2015 | Album reviews

A Thousand Hands

A Thousand Hands, the debut album from LA four-piece Sextile, was reportedly inspired by the occult experiments of guitarist Eddie Wuebben while practicing what he has referred to “open-eyed meditation.” In Wuebben’s words, he felt as if “thousands of hands reached towards him,” a vision that struck him as “frightening” yet “exhilarating.” Bear this backstory in mind when lending an ear to the frantic, even discombobulated sounds of Sextile. The album is a cohesive collection of call-to-arms anthems and primitive, post-punk earworms. “Can’t Take It,” the standout and attention-catcher on the album, is an amalgamation of all things aggressive as lead singer, Brady Keehn rants and raves in cathartic release. The album’s culmination of spacey synth, guttural guitar, and punchy percussion will hit you where it hurts, and lyrically, Keehn is at his best when brooding. Lucky for listeners, infatuation and the unattainable seem to seep into almost every last track. Drummer Melissa Scaduto’s vocals take center stage on “Mind’s Eye,”and I found myself subconsciously searching for the same sensual strains on the remaining tracks. Either Sextile is almost painfully in touch with both the head and the heart, or simply on a superabundant supply of drugs. Either way, one thing is clear: the foursome are positively fearless in their methods, seamlessly concocting one hell of a musical cocktail that will surely have a thousand hands anxiously awaiting their sip of the strange.

—Audra Heinrichs