As a rule, I’m firmly on the side of bands who ride roughshod over ‘cool’, and all of the associated horrors that accompany such a label.
One of the primary dangers of being cool – or worse, aiming to be cool – is that your posturing ages with a rapidity that spins the mind.
Plants Plants seem to have found a wry median point to occupy: their music is part polyrhythmic laptop-jitter and part synth-heavy, spoken-word epic pop.
In combining these two disparate elements – the nowness of the former and the faintly overblown grandeur of the latter – Plants Plants have sidestepped the thorny ‘cool’ issue, whilst making music which cool people will latch onto.
This is no mean feat, and your responses may fluctuate wildly as Hands That Sleep snatches at a variety of sounds and styles – including, but not limited to: musique concrete audio-snatch sampling, taut guitar noodling, epic Vangelis swooping synth pop and, apparently, the sound of a bonfire.
Cool is temporary. Leaping wildly and unknowingly from genre to genre (and snaffling the best bits on the way) is brave, at the very least. Nice.