Sometimes it takes years to appreciate a band, sometimes a couple of spins and sometimes… you hear a band and it just clicks. Everything making total sense upon the first listen. Know that feeling? For me, Handsome definitely was a band like that. Oh everyone thinking we’re talking about that ‘Mmmmbop’-band here, get out. Handsome. Not Hanson.
I got introduced to the band through Aversionline.com. I’m not sure quite sure if someone told me to check a post on Andrew’s site or if I already was a regular follower of his blog back then. Doesn’t matter, I think the first song I heard was “Dim The Lights”. I used to check out tons of stuff back then. And most of the time I half-listened, half-focused-on-something else. Until things got interesting. I probably was doing other stuff at the moment, maybe making homework or something. But the minute the vocals came in my attention was fully with this song, with this band. And the moment I heard the chorus I was simply in love.
This band has it all. That is, all I look for in a band. A great groove, it’s catchy as hell, great musicians and a damn good singer. It’s a shame how criminally underrated this band is. On the “Featuring (ex) members of Quicksand, Helmet and Cro-Mags amongst others” thing alone, they should have been huge. Wikipedia says they started out in 1996, but that can’t be right since they’ve released a 7″ on Sub Pop in 1995. Either way they haven’t been around very long. They actually did manage to tour with Silverchair, the Wu-Tang Clan and Voodoo Glow Skulls amongst others, but in 1998 it all came to an end. It makes me wonder what could have been. And I wonder why it came to an end. Although after hearing the final remark by singer Jeremy Chatelain in the interview video below it might have something to do with the band not getting along that well? Either way, it’s a shame they didn’t do more.
When I was writing this article, I decided to finally pick up the CD (I already had the vinyl and some promo’s, but I never picked up the actual CD since I’m not really a CD kinda guy.. uhuh). When it arrived, I noticed the “CD Extra” icon on the disc. I don’t think they still do this, but for some time labels added multimedia stuff to their releases. I didn’t know what to expect, so I popped in the disc and…. nothing. The files were outdated. I tried a couple of things, but I couldn’t get it to work. Hooray for the improvement in technology. On closer inspection of the files, I found some videos. Interview parts that I had never seen before (you might have though). I decided to put them together, add some background music to it and put it on YouTube so everyone can check it out:
Some side trivia: People into Supertouch might be interested to hear that Mark Ryan (Supertouch) was originally asked to sing in this band. When we actually get that interview done sometime (Mark, are you reading this haha?), I’ll ask him more about that. Handsome sounds perfect as it is, but it would have been interesting to hear how it sounds with Mark singing.
Recently some new live footage appeared on YouTube (be sure to check out the other videos by that user as well) and this article wouldn’t be complete without it. Those videos are actually the reason I started this article to be honest, but in the end it turned it into a bit more. Oh well, I’m just spreading the gospel of Handsome haha.
This one has been around a bit longer, but maybe you haven’t seen it yet.
Still reading? I take it you’re interested then? Well, I might have saved the best for last, here’s the full discography. Since it’s out of print I thought it was okay. Just trying to get more people to listen to this stuff.
Swimming / Can’t Connect 7″ on Sub Pop – 1995
2. Can’t connect
Waiting / Needles 7″ on Full City Blend – 1995
s/t CD on Epic/Sony – 1997
1. Needles (different from 7″)
2. Ride Down
3. Going To Panic
4. Left Of Heaven
5. Thrown Away
6. Dim The Lights
7. Lead Bellied
8. My Mind’s Eye
9. Waiting (different from 7″)
10. Quiet Liar
11. Eden Complex
xx. Spill (2 track European bonus CD)
xx. Closer (2 track European bonus CD)
Needles promo CD on Epic / Sony – 1997
1. Needles (same version as s/t)
Dim The Lights promo CD on Epic / Sony – 1997
1. Dim The Lights (different from s/t CD)
1. Swivel (live, from a great live set from June 14 1997 at the Hultsfred Festival in Sweden that was broadcasted on Swedish radio that’s also making the rounds)
2. Just To Prove A Point (this is a KRS-One track with most of Handsome as a backing band)
Am I missing anything (aside from the compilations)? Let me know!
Now go on and tell someone about this awesome band. Go hunt Ebay for their releases, they shouldn’t be too expensive.
Oh and how about a reunion? Everyone is reuniting these days, how about adding Handsome to that list?Back to specials overview