The Hand to Man Band is a unique entity, as you might have gathered from the sporting earthworm-riders on the cover of their debut album, You Are Always On Our Minds. The band was formed specifically to make this album, gathering a team around "Thollem Electric", whose prolific collaborations have yielded years of composition and dozens of releases. So, the Hand to the Man Band naturally draws also on the talents of others; John Dieterich (guitartist for Deerhoof), Mike Watt (who the band's label elaborates well on: "Mike Watt is Mike Watt. Currently touring the European festival circuit with Iggy and the Stooges and cruising the US with his backing band The Missingmen."), and experimental percussionist Tim Barnes (who "worked the skins with notables such as Jim O'Rourke, Silver Jews, and Wooden Wand"). You Are Always On Our Minds feels like a particularly self-conscious record, offering numerous little laboratories for sounds significant to its respective recorders; its very name is a shared declaration and track titles are similarly observation or suggest the willful projection of an order or understanding on whatever world it is they've created. Parts impenetrable, shambolic jazz and others more muted and susceptible to free association, You Are Always On Our Minds nonetheless has a feel of artifice in its design, protecting the exact parameters of the whole group's "ego" and making their bold ragas into cherished mysteries to be savored (and who knows what of the solution).
Thollem speaks for us...
"Someone who thinks, thinks that, thinks this, is this, is that. Came to town, kicked a rock, nothing will never be the same. In between it all people lived, people died, some thought everything happened, others did some more. invitations and intrusions, confusing conclusions. Before our eyesarrived it was here, made in our mind. Forces conspired a second ago, yesterday, stands on two feet. Animals, us, consciousness, conscience, senses awoke, being born, evolution, big bang, singularities. We learned the unreasoning, I made I. Do be true we who. Faces are faces of forever now racing towards faces of tomorrow. Now is what I said before. Before is what we wait for never for. Existence fees will be met whether or not You want the service." -Thollem ElectricMP3: The Hand to Man Band - Before Our Eyes Arrived
Order You Are Always On Our Minds from Post-Consumer.
The band's home label has also got a video circulating the album's twelfth track, "The Down Moveables", combining the song's anxious jazz and instrumental discursiveness with a whimsical assemblage of found footage clips, lightly modified with some beautiful rotoscoping.