Right Hand Left Hand’s new album is a noisy, layered, atmospheric affair. It’s post-rock, but not as we know it.
It also sounds like there’s a whole bunch of people making all that noise but there’s only two of them.
“It’s a two-piece band,” explains Andrew Plain, “but we’ve basically got a four-piece band’s worth of equipment. One guitar runs through a bass amp, one runs through a guitar amp. Then we’ve got some drums and some synths, but they all go via a loop station. It’s pretty exciting.”
The Cardiff-based pair – completed by Rhodri Viney – released their debut album in 2011, but it’s this self-titled record five years later that they really feel is the start of the band’s life. Yet the seeds were actually sewn many years before, when the pair were on tour in Europe with their previous band, instrumental quintet Vito.
“We were in Holland and we’d just done a show in Groningen,” says Plain. “We were in the bar afterwards talking about maybe doing something with just the two of us and we got distracted by a song in the background, which turned out to be Slow Response by Trans Am. So we went and booked our first gig, came up with the name of the band, decided what equipment we were going to use and then did nothing until about ten days before our first gig, when we realised we should probably learn how to use a loop station and write some songs.”
The first thing they did was honed their chops covering that Trans Am song, and while not discounting their 2011 debut, Power Grab, Right Hand Left Hand is the album that the band was formed to make.
“This means a lot more to us,” explains Plain. “There’s a physical release attached to it, and we feel that, with this record, we learned how to use the equipment a little better. We actually kind of know what we’re doing with it now, so we had a better chance to explore how to use it and be more experimental with it, as well as challenge ourselves a lot more.”
It means that, while most certainly a very atmospheric record, it also defies categorisation to some extent, falling both inside and outside a number of genres to become its own, unique two-headed beast.
“When people ask us what we sound like, I’ve always found that question difficult to answer, but never more so than with Right Hand Left Hand,” says Plain. “When you look at some of the bands we’ve supported over the years and how different they are, that kind of answers it for me. There’s Dead Meadow and Errors, who are a bit more electronic, and then you’ve got Super Furry Animals and Funeral For A Friend. To be asked to play with such different kinds of bands it shows how different people can get into us for different reasons.
“Ultimately, though – and without wishing to sound too clichéd – I think all we’ve really done is satisfy ourselves and tick boxes of stuff that we like and see where the technology takes us,” he adds. “We just want to explore as much as possible. Hope that mean it’ll appeal to more people, although we’re very much not consciously trying to appeal to everybody.”
Right Hand Left Hand is out now via Jealous Lovers Club. The duo will tour with Future Of The Left next month. For dates, visit their Bandcamp page.