Review: Ten Gram Tang – “Hands So Clean”

Fresh off their debut single, “Walk Me Home,” Ten Gram Tang has released another titled “Hands So Clean.” The group, who recently moved from Lowell, MA to Nashville, TN, consists of vocalist and lead guitarist Paige Lee, lead guitarist Connor Powell and drummer Jackson Check-Davis. The band shows a promising future with their lyrical and musical chops.

The song is about a relationship that has recently ended or is very close to ending and how the protagonist, played by Lee, wants their partner back. Lee’s vocals, which have an almost Robert Plant-like accent, rise and fall with the guitars and drums behind her. The song strikes fiercely when she sings, “How would you keep your hands so clean?” referring to how the partner treated the relationship. It is ultimately unanswered, but the protagonist goes ahead and asks for their partner to come back. It’s impressive how much is told in such a short amount of time.

The instrumentation in this track is great, especially the punchy drums and crashing cymbals. The guitars play well with each other, and the guitar solo at the end of the song reaches high up for a fantastic crescendo. What’s great about the group is the power they get out of only two guitars and a set of drums. It reminds me of what The White Stripes did when they were around, and it also brings to mind Fomosurfer’s (Silas Price’s) latest EP, Candyhands, in terms of personnel-to-music ratio.

The single does an excellent job in showcasing the group’s bluesier, hard rock sound. I think it’s unique amongst what I’ve heard this year. The lyrics are focused; each instrument strengthens the other; and whoever mixed the music knows how to let the group work their magic.

According to Ten Gram Tang’s website, their debut album is set to release in January 2021. This single points to it being a good one.

-Michael Parke

Featured photo by Conor Hews