Hardcore band sounds out Palmerston North

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:00 07/07/2014

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A band made up of a hardcore drummer, a turntablist and a Mongolian-trained throat singer is preparing to launch its mind-altering sound experiences upon the people of Palmerston North.

The All Seeing Hand is in the city next week to perform the final show of its latest national tour.

The band boasts one of the most unconventional lineups in New Zealand right now, with turntablist Alphabethead and drummer Benjamin Knight laying down beds of noise for throat singer Jonny Marks to sing, howl, drone or scream over.

While that seems like a recipe for disaster, the group has been winning fans and getting rave reviews since forming in 2011.

Alphabethead described their sound as "heavy experiential rock music sprinkled with textural shamanistic drones".

"Our modus operandi has jokingly been the perpetual pursuit of uncompromising, mind-altering sound experiences."

They added Marks to the lineup after he returned from a three-year trip to inner Mongolia - where he had been studying throat singing - and walked into a rehearsal.

"He spontaneously started singing sans-microphone and the penny just dropped," Alphabethead said.

"He was the missing penny."

But if you want to sing along to The All Seeing Hand, you will largely be out of luck; most of their music has vocal textures and sounds rather than sung words.

Alphabethead said there had been a move towards Marks singing in English though, with recent single Show Me Your Teeth their first song with words.

"Some of the themes we wish to cover in songs are a little less abstract now, so need actual words to articulate them.

"I think Jonny is keen on a hybrid of both lyrical and indecipherable."

The band's tour has had them play bigger cities, but also smaller places like Whanganui, Wairau Valley and Marahau.

Alphabethead said their music was suited to live concerts, as that made the experience "more visceral and energetic". "Although we haven't discussed this, we all feel strongly about the ‘real' connection live music can offer."

One string to their live bow has been The Blog - a flesh-coloured orb they collectively wear while performing.

"We watched one too many bad VHS horror films, I think," Alphabethead said.

The group had just released a new album, Fog & Debris, and planned to tour Australia in August and work on new songs soon, he said.

The All Seeing Hand performs at Great Job! in Palmerston North on July 18. For more information, and to view video footage of The Blog, see facebook.com/allseeinghand.

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- Manawatu Standard

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