Brighton's Actress Hands are good mates with
Electric Soft Parade. So much so, that they're about
to release a split single with the experimental rockers. This is a
little like Led Zeppelin allowing Shed Seven to record
the B-side to their comeback single, because, quite frankly, Actress
Hands are dreadful, even with the presence of the Parade's Alex White.
Cheerfully extolling the virtues of "spiky guitar pop, sunshine
harmonies" and "startling chord changes" (eh?!), it seems a little churlish to be too nasty about a young band that seems
to actively enjoy playing in south-coast boozers. However, when a
group seems as deluded about their own influences as Actress Hands,
sentimentality is promptly thrown out the window.
Instead of taking their cues from, as their biography enthuses,
Dinosaur Jnr, My Bloody Valentine and Teenage
Fanclub, Half an Hour sounds like a forgotten Suggs B-side,
a terrible skank-along with lyrics so risible ("Hold on for half an
hour/ So we can have some fuuuunn") that you'll forget all about the
laughably bad production, surprising (ly dreadful) chord changes and
three part harmonies that sound like they've been recorded in a
submarine. B-side What's the Name of the Planet You're From? is a
little better, with the odd reverby guitar thrown in, but it's too
little, too late.