"The Dream" collects two five-song EP's (recorded in 1999 and 2000, and self-released) from Open Hand, one of the most hotly hyped bands on the already well-hyped Trustkill label. Adding only one "new" song (from 2001), this new release doesn't do too much to present a picture of where these guys are now, which is a shame, since Open Hand is a band that seems to be in constant progression. Perhaps "constant progression" isn't a term you're accustomed to seeing in reference to the post-hardcore scene, but Open Hand do stand out among their compatriots, given both their willingness and ability to move the genre in different directions. Though it's only hinted at on these 11 songs, it's clear that Open Hand are melding a variety of influences. Whether it's the modal textures on "The Struggle," the atmospheric assault of "Radio Days" or the sheer melody that propels "Life As Is," there is considerably more going on than just a visceral attack. Hopefully, their next release will reveal the band's progress more accurately than this one.
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