I really didn’t want to like Ridgemont’s beard punk with its “Stay Gold, Pony Boy” type lyrics, but I have to say that it grew on me after several listens. Damn you, youth! They are, however, still pretty by-the-book and unremarkable at this point. If they spend some time developing their own sound, they have a chance at being a pretty good band because they certainly have the verve for it. Two Hand Fools are fucking awesome. They play a jangling and jagged post-hardcore full of progressive build-ups which lead to crashing breakdowns and gang vocals. The song “Hot Tongues” is a fucking uncomfortable and misanthropic love song that brings to mind the edgy, false sweetness of the best of Sugar songs without sounding anything like Sugar. When the band shouts out together, “I’m stepping on your tongue / and I hope you fucking feel it / you’re talking in the dark / your tongue so hot I can see it,” it’s so thick with angst and displaced rage that it’ll give you chills. By the time they get to the part where they sing, “So I’ll need to have you calm down / I’ve seen both sides of this,” you know that all is lost. It’s a fucking killer track.
–Craven (Mindless, [email protected])