Half-Handed Cloud - Flying Scroll Flight Control

Published Friday 29th August 2014
Half-Handed Cloud - Flying Scroll Flight Control
Half-Handed Cloud - Flying Scroll Flight Control

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 152056-22213
LABEL: Asthmatic Kitty

Reviewed by Oscar Hyde

John Ringhofer's been making music through the Half-Handed Cloud moniker for nearly a decade and a half now under the aegis of Sufjan Stevens's Asthmatic Kitty label. John's songs are as quirky as Sufjan's (at the very least) but also substantially more explicitly Christian; almost every word here's taken verbatim from various translations of the New Testament. I wasn't understating the quirkiness, by the way; this is an album that features ducks, microwaves, zippers, and radiators as instruments alongside clarinets, children's organs, trombones, and tiny choirs, all because of Ringhofer's firm belief that everything is art. The result is something joyously and explosively creative-the band overflows with so many ideas that they can barely stick to a song for much more than a minute before jumping to a new tack, altogether racing through 18 songs or song fragments in a mere 26 minutes. Nothing feels disjointed here, though; the album's up there with the best of Guided By Voices or Olivia Tremor Control, everything flowing perfectly, one theme to another, as Ringhofer flits from early Christian hymn to early Christian hymn. It's a ramshackle masterpiece and an easy contender for my favourite Christian album this year.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Bob Wood in Apple FM Radio, Somerset @ 14:28 on Sep 13 2014

I'd never come across this band before, and having read the review, I checked i-tunes and listened to it and some of their other stuff too. And I'm sorry to say that I just don't "get it". I can't understand what they're trying to do. "Disjointed", I have to say, contrary to your reviewer, is exactly the word for most of their stuff. I don't see how they are getting a message of any sort across to most people. I will admit that if they've been around for 10 years or more then somebody must understand and like it, or they wouldn't still be going. But speaking from a radio presenters point-of-view, it ain't radio-friendly in any way, and surely getting your message out to as many people as possible is the aim, for a Christian band, at least, isn't it?

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