Get an earful of any odd moment off the Rich Hands’ rollicking second record Out of My Head (a co-release between the equally-phenomenal Burger and Fountain Records) and you might shorthand the band’s primary reference point as Mick & Keith circa Sticky Fingers/Exile. So it’s surprising to hear frontman and principle songwriter Cody Mauser wax ecstatically not about the Stones’ deep-fried, hip-swiveling blues riffs, but about those other icons of ’60s rock and roll: “We all share a bond over the Beatles,” he says of he and bandmates Matt Gonzalex and Nick Ivarra. “I like basically anything George Harrison did. He’s my favorite Beatle. All Things Must Pass? That record is so good. I don’t know if it had a huge following when it came out, but I love that record.”
A closer listen to Out of My Head betrays that fondness for melody: the roaring “Teenager” could be a distant, unshaven, slightly drunker cousin to “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”; “Other Boys” has the same bright-eyed bounce as, say, “All My Lovin’,” but the Rich Hands filters that easy tunefulness through in-the-red amps and piles of distortion. And buried beneath all that fuzz is genuine songcraft. “The last track on the record, ‘I Get By’ — there’s actually some very subtle guitar work on there,” Mauser says. “There’s stuff I did on there that I’m really proud of. The songs are getting longer. I listen to them now, and Instead of writing these choppy, garage-punk songs, I think, ‘Oh, cool, I’m growing! It’s happening, and I didn’t even know it.”
And while Out of My Head won’t be released until next Tuesday, Mauser already has plans for the next record. “I wanna make a record where we have time to really mess with stuff,” he says. “I wanna have some acoustic tracks, some slower stuff. It sounds stupid, but I really want the next record to be ‘mature.’” From the sound of Out of My Head, he’s already got a running start.
[The Rich Hands' Out of My Head will be released by Fountain and Burger Records on May 6]