Portland has become a heavy metal mecca with many prominent bands and labels — like Agalloch, Red Fang and Vrasubatlat Records — calling the Oregonian city home. There are also a ton of really great local acts based in PDX, including IDLE HANDS — a traditional heavy metal band which you will be hearing about in the future.
Formed in the heart of the Pacific Northwest in the fall of 2017, IDLE HANDS initially began solely as a creative outlet for former Spellcaster bassist Gabriel Franco, who now handles vocals and rhythm guitar in addition to being the band's sole songwriter.
“I was stuck in a rut, having played bass for years in a mildly-successful band that was doing great on the outside but falling apart on the inside," says Franco. "Indecision and laziness ruled the game.
"Getting folks to come to practice was a nightmare, and I would write these songs, have them all put together with vocal melodies and lyrics, the whole deal. The band would like them, then start to change things here and there, and then the singer wouldn’t pay a dime of attention to the point of the song or the lyrical content. By the time it was over, they were just destroyed. People liked the songs, but it still sucked because I knew what they could’ve been. Devastating and so discouraging…
"Of course, the band later fell apart like we all knew it would. Seven years of hard work brought down by a mixture of bad communication, ego and self-doubt. When it ended, I knew I couldn’t do that again. I needed to be in charge of the writing process. That’s when IDLE HANDS began.”
Franco says he now has a full line-up, and last month, the foursome released IDLE HANDS' debut EP, Don't Waste Your Time via the band's own Lone Fir Records.
With a range of influences from The Sisters of Mercy, Iron Maiden and In Solitude, the end result ends up sounding like The Devil's Blood or Ghost, perhaps with less pop and more heavy metal.
Musically, IDLE HANDS sounds a lot like its predecessor but with a moodier approach thanks to Franco's baritone voice. Mark my words, this band is going to be everywhere in the next couple of years. If you're a fan of the whole 80s nostalgia craze, NWOBHM or anything in between, jump on the bandwagon before your a poseur.
Listen below and let us know what you think in the comments: