Indian Handcrafts – Civil Disobedience for Losers (2012)

With a mighty swarm of guitar riffs and funky-as-hell vocals, Indian Handcrafts takes to Civil Disobedience for Losers with an attitude that is all too rare in today’s cookie-cutter rock scene. To make matters more impressive, this Barrie, Ontario-based outfit is just a duo.

Brandyn James Aiken (drums, vocals) and Daniel Brandon Allen (guitars, vocals) bring a force of music that has drawn comparisons to bands as diverse as Funkadelic, Hella, Death from Above 1979, and the Melvins. That latter shoe seems to fit the best, what with Dale Crover and Coady Willis lending their drumming services to Civil Disobedience for Losers.

Allen took to recording the album with a broken hand, no less, which interestingly seems to add to its broken-down appeal. Determination is wielded like a blunt instrument and the groove hits hard. The action staggers through innumerable genres and the dual attack is insatiable as it forces its way into the headphones and emerges victorious with blown eardrums and a shit-eating grin as its prize.

Indian Handcrafts make their ass-kicking presence known with the aptly-titled “Bruce Lee,” a cut that snakes into view with sick riffs and some well-placed sound effects. The grind is early grunge, the sort of shit Soundgarden would’ve coveted when Cornell’s hair was still long, but the vocals come from a funkier place. Crover and Willis join for a brilliant snare wrap-up that packs three snares like cannon fire.

“Red Action” builds on the theme, even using some of the same yelps initially. Allen sounds like he’s playing about 20 guitars. When the groove slaps into place, the “Red Action” kicks all kinds of ass. Another highlight is “Starcraft,” a menacing and memorable piece that thrusts into action with more killer riffs and spirited vocals.

Then there’s “Centauri Teenage Riot,” a cut that brings the Melvins’ Crover back into the fray to join with Aiken for some deadly drumming. The bellowed lyrics are something else, with the rise of “Fiyah!” fortifying these cats as something damn exceptional indeed.

Civil Disobedience for Losers is a bloody awesome rock record, no question about it. Indian Handcrafts swing for the fences and nail it, providing an experience that really is all killer, no Nickelback.

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Jordan Richardson

Jordan Richardson is a Canadian freelance writer and ne'er-do-well. He also contributes to his own Canadian Cinephile and Canadian Audiophile websites. Contact Something Else! Reviews at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.