The “Brooklyn buzz band” has been become such a ubiquitous element of the indie rock world that I’m beginning to wonder if it would be appropriate to view the term as its own genre/style. I’ve intentionally dodged reviewing many a New York band simply because my west coast bias frequently prevents me from contributing to the snowballing hype surrounding all things Brooklyn. So please view this post as an aberration and forgive me as I add to the flurry of posts surrounding The Hundred In The Hands, a pop duo based out of (where else but?) Brooklyn, NY.
I first listened to their ‘This Desert’ EP when a friend introduced the band to me as a “discogaze” artist. I had heard the term used before to describe yet another New York City buzz band, Sounpool, and decided it might be worth checking out. The EP is fun and catchy, with bumping four-on-the-floor beats, but not the sort that absolutely necessitate dancing. True to the word of my friend, the music is equally appropriate for strutting your stuff on the dance floor or quietly staring at your feet with drink in hand. Jason Friedman and Eleanore Everdell have previously been involved in other New York acts, but The Hundred In The Hands looks to be the one that will get the hype machine’s engine roaring.
While I thought the term “discogaze” was rather clever, as a contributor for an mp3 blog I am, in fact, contractually obligated to disdainfully note the uselessness of genre classification in general while simultaneously overtly displaying pretentious expertise in categorizing obscure music into even more obscure genres. For once, let me be candid; I like to think of genre names the same way I think about new names for strains of marijuana. To some people the name of a strain can convey a lot of information quickly without having to go into protracted detail about difficult-to-describe phenomena like taste and quality of high. But to most, phrases like Silver Surfer Haze, Sour Diesel, chillwave, or fidget house have little meaning, and are more likely to invoke confusion than anything else. And let’s be honest, the only reason one strain is called Train Wreck and another AK-47 is due to the whim of a few stoners as they harvested their newest crop. And I’ll go on record saying a stoner’s whim is not dramatically unlike the impulse of a blogger, music critic, recording artist, producer or DJ who affixes a certain catchy description onto some piece of music.
So “discogaze” all you want, but I’m not sure exactly why this couldn’t just as easily be described as chillwave (whatever that means), electroclash, “Brooklyn buzz band,” synthpop, or just plain pop.
Bonus: The Hundred In The Hands – Dressed In Dresden (Maxime 2600 In My Hands Remix)