It was about two weeks ago I found myself laying in my bed at about 3:45 a.m. listening to “Conflicts” by Lead Hands in just my boxers, because that’s what I do with my time. I discovered this band back in 2011 when they released their self-titled album on January 17, 2011 via Rise Records. There is a catch to the name Lead Hands, however. The name “Lead Hands” was not the bands initial name during their debut release, it was “Decoder”. The reason for the change was due to the fact that another band from New Jersey had claimed to own the exact same name and thus sparked legal issues to arise and Lead Hands was born.
Summing up the lifespan of Lead Hands, it is safe to say the project was fast to fall apart. After the release of their debut album, issues arose all around. Guitarist Anthony Sepe left Lead Hands to later join Memphis May Fire back in 2012 (Sepe also departed from MMF earlier this year). After the departure of Anthony Sepe, we would soon see the departure of clean vocalist Spencer Pearson due to a various amount of reasons. A short time later, it was announced that bassist Bryce Sipes left the band due to his disgust with the music industry. All of this within a two year span, it was clear to me that Lead Hands wasn’t what it was thought out to be.
After reading this and doing my best to confirm all of this information about the band, I had one last question that needed to be answered (a very specific one, might I add): Where did Spencer Pearson end up? The reason I ask this was because of his unique vocals which is what really glued me to Lead Hands in the first place. His style resembled the likes of vocalists Anthony Green (Circa Survive) and Jonny Craig (Slaves) with his powerful highs. I knew the search was on. After summoning the powers from every corner of Google and Apple Music, I was able to make my discovery. Pearson has started a new band known as Makari, which also spots Eric Stewart (guitar), Matt Beljan (guitar), John Tomasso (Bass), and Kevin Beljan (drums).
On November 18, 2016, Makari released their new EP “Elegies” through InVogue Records. The 5 track EP consists of a much quieter tone than what you may have heard with Lead Hands. Here’s a taste to sum up what Makari is all about, with their newest music video for “Melt” released on September 14, 2016.
Elegies’ five songs consist of a post-hardcore style, if you will. I won’t go into too much detail to spoil anything, after all, this is meant to be a discovery for you, the reader. The opening track “Blossom” begins with dream-like drums amping you up for what could very well be a battle, followed by a soothing baseline and vocals from Pearson while being complimented by the sweeping tones of various guitars. After various listens to this EP, I feel this is the strongest track that puts Spencer’s vocals front and center, especially during the chorus.
If there must be one more piece of information I can give you about Elegies, it would have to be that the mixing and mastering is some of the best work I have heard in quite some time. It’s relaxing and calms my anxiety to be able to hear every instrument, especially because the usual offender of a bad mix is the bass guitar, which I’m always left to believe a bands bassist is merely a myth and does not exist because I can never hear a damn thing and it upsets me dearly.
I will now leave you to discover more about Makari. I can assure that it will be a fun ride and you will most definitely thank yourself for making time to indulge the the sweet sounds of “Elegies”. I look forward for whats to come and hope that this article can reach those in search of new music in the rock scene. If you want to learn more about Makari or want to purchase their new EP “Elegies”, you can do so over on Apple Music and on their official Bandcamp page. Make sure to follow the band on their official YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook pages.