"We Are Young" by The Shaky Hands
Nick Delffs' vocals, aiming high and tuneful through what must be some raw sinus passages, lend The Shaky Hands an enjoyable case of the jitters. The Portland group makes the best case for itself when the instrumentation matches Delffs' frazzled energy, and Lunglight does that more effectively than last year's self-titled debut. "Air Better Come" balances creepiness with comfort, serenity with shakes. It itches with extra percussion and some squiggly-scratchy guitar bits, in one of many arrangements that nearly drown out familiar-sounding melodies and hooks. The Shaky Hands reach a better balance on "No Say," complementing a tale of despair with sparse verses that slowly build into brief outbursts, and the harmonies of "Wake The Breathing Light" catch the band at its most fun. Like The Shaky Hands' live set, Lunglight stirs up a worthy frolic with tattered scraps of psychedelic pop, surf-rock, frenzied folk, and a bit of Velvet Underground grit. If only the band's perversely gleeful touch weren't the only thing holding these pleasures together.