In their latest offering, “Great Chaos,” Hand Signs masterfully tread the line between nostalgia and innovation.
Hailing from the heart of Georgia, this alt/pop trio, composed of Gavin Livermore, Perry Martin, and Kolin Madison, embarked on their musical journey in the summer of 2019, solidifying their presence in early 2020 with a series of EP releases.
Now, in the present moment, they present us with a 15-track narrative, weaving tales of optimism and personal growth (“Big Changes”), love’s transient nature (“Outgrow” and “Get Home Safe”), the labyrinth of grief (“Messy Monday”), and a contemplation of the tumultuous modern world (“Great Chaos”) through the eyes of twenty-somethings in America’s Deep South.
Hand Signs are repeat offenders of weaving in infectious hook after infectious hook, ensuring their music resonates track after track. Unabashedly embracing the New Wave genre, and its dynamic fusion of punk vigour, electronic nuances, and a fearless approach to songcraft, Hand Signs deliver a captivating sonic journey that leaves us eagerly anticipating more.
“World on Fire” commences with ethereal synths, seamlessly transitioning into a tapestry of layered vocals adorned with lush reverb, sparking a contemplative conversation on confronting life’s conflagrations. The heartbeat of drums ushers in a newfound depth, setting the stage for what promises to be a remarkable voyage.
“Big Changes” follows suit, delving into the pivotal questions that mark the path toward self-discovery. The candid acknowledgment of the need for change resonates deeply, showcasing Hand Signs’ ability to navigate the complex terrain of introspection.
Vocally magnetic, the production achieves a seamless synergy, allowing each instrument to find its place within the sonic tapestry.
“Get Home Safe” pulsates with anthemic fervour, driven by vigorous guitars and drums, presenting a pop-punk anthem that stands tall within the album’s repertoire.
“Smooth” stands as a quintessential millennial anthem, channeling the sentiments of a generation. The dual vocals, featuring Erin Blaine, imbue the track with a sense of unity, encapsulating the zeitgeist with every note. This pervasive millennial undertone imbues the entire album with a striking relevance to our times.
“Outgrow” returns to the realm of synths, where they find their perfect milieu. Infused with a pop-punk spirit, Hand Signs strike a balance that keeps the track teetering on the edge without tipping into pure pop.
“What’s Eating You” channels a Foo Fighters-esque punk energy, fusing elements of alternative rock, post-grunge, and hard rock. Amidst the dominant synths, the band maintains an equilibrium, ensuring that basslines and drum patterns contribute significantly to the music’s overall texture.
“Messy Monday” introduces poppier elements with an unmistakable punk edge. Hand Signs reveal a commendable versatility, seamlessly oscillating between robust, riff-laden rock anthems and synth-infused pop melodies that bear witness to their songwriting prowess.
“Enough” emanates a contemplative allure, showcasing New Wave at its finest.
“The Finer Things” encapsulates the signature pop-punk sound, enriched by synth-driven melodies that offer a catchy and vivacious auditory experience. Jonathan Crowley’s guest vocals add a layer of depth, transforming the track into an intimate conversation with a confidant, mirroring hopes and fears.
“Great Chaos” stands as another reflective gem, delving into the notion that true wisdom lies within. The chaotic world we inhabit may seem overwhelming, yet Hand Signs navigate it with grace and insight.
“I Hate Me More” pulses with an infectious beat, encapsulating a mood of self-reflection.
“Getting Late” seamlessly aligns with the album’s thematic core. Even amidst introspection’s depths, Hand Signs maintain a buoyant and optimistic tone, infusing their music with sweeping gestures and invigorating percussion.
“Coping Mechanisms” and “Summer’s Over” serve as odes to overthinking, perhaps a touch too harsh on themselves. Yet, it is this self-deprecating journey that renders their music so profoundly relatable. This dose of unvarnished honesty feels remarkably raw, exploring themes of introspection and personal strife. These tracks unveil a more vulnerable facet of the band, presenting heartfelt lyrics and melodies that evoke a sense of melancholy.
“Just Go Right” concludes the album on a triumphant note, exuding a positive and uplifting aura. The lyric, “Burning down your neighbourhood,” serves as a poignant conclusion, encapsulating the introspective, new wave pop-punk essence that defines Hand Signs at their best. They are undeniably putting up a good fight, and we are unequivocally here for it.
“Great Chaos” is available across all platforms.