Hailing from the epicentre of cool and arriving with the hype to boot, Brooklyn duo The Hundred In The Hands are all about simmering and sultry electro dance pop occasionally infused with crunching guitar riffs. Comprised of Jason Friedman and singer Eleanore Everdell, their self-titled debut fizzles with disco and euro-pop all underpinned with dark, icy undertones thanks to Everdell’s calm, tender vocals. Opener ‘Young Aren’t Young’ bounces with a brash confidence before they really find their groove with the sensual catchy pop of ‘Lovesick (Once Again)’ and its hypnotically robotic melody.
The promising start continues with the tender ‘Killing It’ before the pure pop of recent single ‘Pigeons’ explodes from the speakers with its New York take on French disco pop. This new surge in energy — at odds with the gentle dreamy pop of their opener — continues with the thumping ‘Commotion’, but from here the quality proves difficult to maintain. Everdell and Friedman seem eager to cram everything they know about the electro-pop genre into their debut, and while this makes for a variety in textures, it also means the record is frustratingly inconsistent.
The catchy chorus of ‘Gold Blood’ for instance is torn apart by the sort of crunching 80’s guitar you’d expect from Slash. It makes for an odd concoction that could only be described as hair-rock Eurotrash. There are highlights remaining however. The spiky angular indie of ‘Dressed In Dresden’ does offer a fine breather from the dizzying trip through electro pop’s pulse before the albums storms to a close with the indie-rock of ‘Last City’ and the haunting, dreamy electro of ‘The Beach’, further emphasising Everdell’s skill at catching the mood with her lucid vocal.
Such a captivating finish mirrors the album’s alluring start, though somewhere in the middle the duo’s flooding of ideas looses charm. A six-track EP would have made this a release to be reckoned with, but as it stands The Hundred In The Hands are only half there.