The mission of Boston Emissions and the annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble is to work to establish, grow, and support working bands. I love discovering new bands. In doing so I put some expectations on those bands to promote themselves (hence the “working” part) and keep in touch. I am watching you. Here’s is a new favorite I’d like to tell you about in this Boston Emissions feature, The Watch List.
I discovered Bands Without Hands very recently when they sent an email to say hello, share music and upcoming shows. I listened through their links, loved what I heard and immediately added “Hello Despair (NO BS Mix)” to the show. I love their style, their songs, and that members of the band call two states home.I always ask bands how they heard of Boston Emissions, and it’s clear in Jess’s answer that they are more than aware of what the show is about – “I’ve been listening to this show since I was a teenager back in the 90s. As I was growing up I loved learning about local bands and hoped one day to have something on the show. And well, lookee here!”
Meet Band Without Hands.
They are Jess Jacobs on lead vocals, guitar, bass, and keys; Brien Sweet on vocals, guitar, bass, keys, Nick Martinelle handles drums, sounds/samples, and sometimes BWH also includes John McKusick on guitars, bass, vocals, keys, drum machines, grooveboxes, and Rob Martinelle – guitar and bass. They are ball all accounts a “kind of a loose collective but always with the three core members.” Previously known as Akisma, it was a different incarnation featuring Brien and Jess. Some of those songs made it into Band Without Hands. Brien has a project called Safer by the Shore, a cover band called Reckless. Jess has been in bands all over the place, from a trip hop outfit Krona in NYC (on bass) and a rock outfit out of Santa Cruz, CA called Tumbleweed. Brien and Jess have also been solo artists for many years, under our names and various other monikers (Akisma). Jess is also helping local band Unstraight produce their first album.
Band Without Hands on Bandcamp /// Band Without Hands on Facebook /// Follow Band Without Hands // BandWithoutHands.com // BWH on Instagram
Nick, Jess, Brien. Photo by Shannon Reynolds. Used with permission.
What I Say.
Band Without Hands are an oft distorted riff-fest with trippy electro fits and moments of graceful balladry. A three-plus piece with very well-crafted songs and great versatility.
What They Say.
Band Without Hands was a plan hatched in Vacationland… which quickly grew from Brien Sweet and Jess Jacobs working with samples and drum machines to a rock monster additionally fueled by Nick Martinelle’s double kicking feet and John McKusick’s guitar wizardry. At once political and emotionally vulnerable, the hard rock fabric is interwoven with elements of new wave, industrial, and trip hop, creating a unique sound that infuses the audience with excitement. With members influenced by pretty much every genre under the sun, Band Without Hands draws from a vast palette to create cohesive, intriguing, adrenaline-fueled social and emotional commentary. The band loves playing live, loves supporting our brothers and sisters in our beloved music scene, and loves connecting with area musicians and music lovers alike! We bring an exciting, high energy, emotive, and varied set to local clubs and it usually ends up with people dancing (or moshing, one time!) and jumping around. We seek to bring a wall of sound, but not without dynamics and heartfelt lyrics.
How They Sound.
Band Without Hand’s sound it something like dance rock and trip hop combined. Jess and Brien come from widely varied backgrounds, with favorites ranging from the Sneaker Pimps/IAMX to the Joy Formidable to Alice in Chains to Bjork. Maybe “trip rock” should be a new genre. We’re certainly rock, but with a lot of rhythmical and melodic flavor borrowed from trip hop and electronic music.
Who They Like.
So many! Death Waltz 76; Powerslut; Versa Contrast blew my mind at a show we played with them in June; Unstraight; Sinnet; Parlour Bells; Let’s Wait will make you dance your ass off!
Band Without Hands’ Sunday Summer Sessions performance, recorded July 20, 2014 on Boston Emissions.
When You Can See Them Next.