The Handshake
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The Handshake

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Americana Rock

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Music

Press


"Local Rockers Greet Us With Obscenity"

HPMA-winning group the Handshake's music sounds like it's being pulled out of an old radio one note at a time by an angst-ridden teenager with a pair of pliers. The sound is somewhat thin and stretched, with high-pitched vocals and guitar melodies that dance above you on the ceiling just out of reach. Songs like "Soldier" speak poignantly, even with elegance, but at the core the music remains something unsettled and waiting.
That being said, the band's American Arguments EP does speak wonders for the band's potential. Indie-rock, Radiohead sensibilities collide with a distinctive Texas semi-country sound in a way that cleaves both sides together on "The River." David Elkin's guitar brings a solid blues presence on "South," including a simple but tremendously powerful solo outing near the end, but drummer and singer Lucas Eason doesn't really have the tortured voice of good blues. He's much more at home in the Canned Acoustica version of "Soldier," where he pulls in his performance down a half-step and shows his obvious connection for roots a bit more clearly. - Houston Press


""The Handshake continued (...) their Strokes-like, romping rock""

The show started with “Eddie Sussex” (aka Tyagaraja) and the zebra-striped, toga-clad band, The Handshake, covering “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin. This is when I knew for sure that Mills-McCoin and his crew were going to present an extremely entertaining evening. Short, energetic sets with fun musical surprises like this one would prove to be the glue that held the evening together.
After “Sussex” spent himself and fell to the floor in a rock and Texas-shaped tequila bottle-fueled exhaustion, The Handshake continued with several songs of their own Strokes-like, romping rock. Their drummer handles most of the vocal work, so that always deserves extra credit. Also, during The Handshake’s set, we were entertained with two talented fire-twirling acts. I’m pretty afraid of fire, but I could definitely appreciate — from afar — that these people were good at what they do! - Space City Rock


""The Handshake put on a raucous display of no nosense rock n roll""

My band hosted an all day house party Thursday and Friday, bringing in some of our friends' bands, some of our favorite local acts, and playing a set ourselves. Our friends from Houston, The Handshake, put on a raucous display of no nonsense rock n roll on the DIY stage set up in a backyard in South Congress. The band seemed to benefit from the lo-fi set up and space, kicking out the jams for a highly receptive audience. - Transmission Entertainment


"Main St. Block Party 2011 Review"

"And if you like the Strokes, Pearl Jam and/or Traffic, watch out for The Handshake. Someone told us they're only in high school, but we didn't believe them. (Update: They all graduated from Lamar... last year.)" - Houston Press


"2011 Free Press Summerfest Review"

"As they closed out their set, The Handshake stopped for a moment to mention that one member was missing his high school graduation to play Free Press Summer Fest. Stupid, talented, young bastards…"
- The Loop Scoop


"Review from Chris Gray Day"

"The Handshake's set close to midnight was a personal eye-popper. I mean, I knew they were good, but I didn't expect myself to be sitting perched up on a couch over them grinning like an idiot. Maybe the loudest band I saw all day, that wasn't ADream Asleep on the back patio of course." - Craig Hlavaty - Houston Press


"Houston Press Artist of the Week"

Featured as the Artist of the Week by the Houston Press in January 2012. "A right proper indie rock band." - Houston Press


"Main St. Block Party Review"

"And if you like the Strokes, Pearl Jam and/or Traffic, watch out for The Handshake. Someone told us they're only in high school, but we didn't believe them. (Update: They all graduated from Lamar... last year.)" - The Houston Press


"New Years Eve 2010 Review"

The Handshake rounded out the openers. And, they could be the sleeper band of the evening. I went back and gave a listen to their songs on Myspace and there is some strong material there that parallels the popular sounds of 2010. - Ice Cream Man


"Houston Press Review on House of Blues show"

"Combine shoegazey art rock and gritty blues-based jamming a la Govt Mule" - The Houston Press


"Review on NPR"

The Handshake played a benefit concert for the Houston Food Bank, put on by Houston's public radio station 88.7 (associated with NPR). The day after the show, The Handshake was discussed on the radio station, being quoted as "an up and coming band" and "an amazing source of youthful talent in Houston". - NPR


Discography

Hands Down EP

Dead City Sound EP - Tracks from this release made their way onto Austin's independent college station 91.7 KVRX in 2009

American Arguments EP - One track from this album (Soldiers) has been streamed on local Houston radio station 90.1. Another song (The River) was featured on Vassar College's radio station in Poughkeepsie, NY in early 2011 as well as placed on local Austin label Sonora Records Summer Sampler 2011 album.

Photos

Bio

Winners of the 2011 Houston Press Music Award for "Best New Act"

The Handshake combines a range of influences from classic Americana to modern rock into something that is decidedly unique and original.

Previously played SXSW in 2011 and 2012 unofficially on several showcases including Guns in the Sun (LA) and Rethink Pop Music Showcases along bands such as Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Superhumanoids, Hanni El Khatib, and Fat Tony.

The band formed in a garage located in Bellaire Texas writing and practicing songs for the Bellaire Men's Club Battle of the Bands. After winning first place they decided to take things more seriously and started trying to book shows around Houston. With the first place prize they won studio time at the famed Sugar Hill Studios and worked on their debut EP "Hands Down". Since then they have worked on two other projects, one of which was recorded at Dead City Sound in Houston. In 2010 they went back to Sugar Hill Studios and recorded their American Arguments EP which was released to a capacity crowd at Warehouse Live's Green Room in the summer of 2011.

The Handshake has played on all kinds of stages across Texas, including local Houston shows at Super Happy Fun Land, Notsuoh, the revamped Fitzgeralds', Mango's, Walters on Washington, Warehouse Live, The Meridian, and The House of Blues.

Not to mention playing both the fall and spring editions of the Westheimer Block Party Music and Arts Festival. These two festivals saw bands such as Windsor Drive, The Riff Tiffs, Devin The Dude, HEALTH, Valient Thorr, St. Vincent, Dead Prez, Japanther, The Eastern Sea, Young Mammals, and the Wild Mocassins. New Years Eve of 2010, The Handshake Opened for Warpaint and Girl in a Coma at Ground Hall in Houston Texas.

In both 2010 and 2011, The Handshake was asked to play at the Free Press Summerfest along with The Flaming Lips, Girl Talk, Cut Copy, Weezer, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Neon Indian, Ween, Chromeo, and many more.

Recently the band has moved to Austin and has consistently played at various venues across the city such as Emo's, Stubbs, Lamberts, The Parish, Parish Underground, Darwin's, and Gypsy Lounge.