Dusted Reviews

The Hidden Hand - Mother Teacher Destroyer

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: The Hidden Hand

Album: Mother Teacher Destroyer

Label: Southern Lord

Review date: Jan. 31, 2005

2004 was a banner year for heavy music, both in brawn and conscience. It’s a time of righteous anger, for sure, and one of the angriest cats out there is Scott “Wino” Weinrich. You know him from St. Vitus, Obsessed, and Spirit Caravan (and perhaps even from his duties with Probot); he’s a guy who – long before Cavity and Sleep – was carrying the torch for “stoner metal,” that doom-laden, sludgy stomp that stretches all the way from the first Sabbath album to Cathedral to Sleep’s epic Jerusalem. Since 2002, Wino has been putting his considerable energies into the power trio The Hidden Hand (named, with a good deal of bitter irony, after Adam Smith’s “invisible hand of the market,” which emphatically does not guide society towards just ends). Alongside fellow Marylanders Bruce Falkinberg on bass and Dave Hennessy on drums, Wino’s sizzling guitar and vocals sound fantastic on Mother Teacher Destroyer.

Maybe that’s because he’s so pissed at the Bush administration. On many of these 11 tracks, Wino sings of signs, portents, bad omens aligning and fractures from within the system. It gives doom rock a whole new meaning (especially when he intones, with real menace, “they’ll try to keep us in fear”). There’s even a track called “The Deprogramming of Tom Delay.” But the album isn’t simply an essay in crushing intensity and political rage (though don’t despair, as there’s plenty to go around on tracks like “Son of Kings”). One of the disc’s virtues is listening to the band indulge their passion for psychedelia (on the gorgeous, quasi-acoustic “Half Mast” or the truly cosmic “Draco Vibration”) and lyrical hooks (the chugging “Magdalene”). There are even, despite the political dark clouds, some moments of flower power optimism (“Love will overcome” or “Wash our weapons in the sea”).

Thudding, serpentine rhythms do tend to dominate, often blossoming into faster tempos and fierce intensity, but the occasional lightness and nimbleness really make the album far more memorable than it might otherwise be. And as far as that ubiquitous guitar? Well, Wino sounds damn good: he’s got a warm Les Paul sound, favoring lots of power chords, and his tone is pretty burning during his blues-drenched solos. That’s the linchpin between old school Birmingham stomp and the future apocalypse. In other words, the Hidden Hand’s latest is a nice hybrid of doom, stoner, hard rock and psychedelic, sort of like Cream crossed with Cathedral.

By Jason Bivins

Read More

View all articles by Jason Bivins

Find out more about Southern Lord

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.