Exuding youth and a party atmosphere, We All Have Hooks For Hands debut makes the "f" in "folk" stand for "fun". The collective of nine guys from Sioux Falls, SD employs multiples of the same instruments in their loose, bounding folk-pop, helping them shout their way through whatever boredom the rural town has hit ’em with. The Pretender is a catchy, endearing introduction to a place indie rock hasn’t taken over yet.
What sticks out most on The Pretender isn’t the romping acoustica, the bouncing drums, or the care-free shouting. It’s that it all comes together with unassuming charm and strength of a group of people living the moment. The rubbery "Jumpin Jean-Luc" feels like a carnival in a basement with free admission. The infectious shuffle and the rolling vocals are as "collective" as any music attached to the word in recent years.
From there, the album doesn’t lose much momentum as it churns out both energy and poise to the end. "The Man Trying To Outfox Us All" is slightly laid-back, but shines with similar fervor. On the other hand, "On & On" is a deeper breath. Still, the entire group feels both loose and naturally together.
As the collective movement of the last few years looks for new inspiration, We All Have Hooks For Hands provides it. Sometimes it takes a little more to come out of a small town, and the nine members of the band from South Dakota give each other a boost as part of a romping, fresh sound.