THE HIDDEN HAND, the new band featuring hard rock guitar legend Wino (ST. VITUS, THE OBSESSED, SPIRIT CARAVAN), will release their debut album, "Divine Propaganda", on September 9 through MeteorCity Records. MeteorCity will handle radio and marketing in-house, with domestic distribution via Caroline and Revolver USA.
In May of 2002, Wino disbanded his group SPIRIT CARAVAN. Following the announcement in July of the same year that he would be joining Victor Griffin's (PENTAGRAM, DEATH ROW) band PLACE OF SKULLS as second guitarist, Wino also began jamming in August with two local musicians, Bruce Falkinburg and Dave Hennesy, as THE HIDDEN HAND. The name was chosen to openly voice the band's political agenda, and to stimulate listeners to consider social freedom in all forms — choice, will, action. THE HIDDEN HAND suggests the existence of unseen powers within and beyond the government that have worked for centuries to gain control over every aspect of society and civilized life. Wino talks of "the underground patriots movement" and clearly states that "this band is definitely a political thing."
"Divine Propaganda" was recorded at Phase Studios (CLUTCH, IRON BOSS, CARRION, SIXTY WATT SHAMAN) in College Park, Maryland from December 2002 through April 2003, and was produced by Bruce Falkinburg and THE HIDDEN HAND. The songs on the record explore various political and social themes, including "Damyata", which deals with environmental issues: "I hear the trees crying, I hear the world dying… I hear the sky cracking, I feel the ice melting, I feel the mountains falling." Even more direct are lyrics in "Tranquility Base", including "… must be real if it's on TV, words and ideas of the powers that be… elections decided by the news…" And the political message is driven firmly home on the title track: "… we didn't elect you, god didn't select you, we will reject you…"
THE HIDDEN HAND song "Falconstone" will appear on the upcoming High Times Records (associated with the cannabis-supporting publication of the same name) rock compilation later this year. The lyrics describe a mythical underground patriot who possesses a magical, secret weapon.
MeteorCity's relationship with frontman Wino has been an enduring one, based on mutual respect. The label first worked with Wino to release SPIRIT CARAVAN's "DreamWheel" EP in 1999.
"Wino more or less agreed to work with MeteorCity because I was so on him to do something with us, and he finally relented," says label co-owner Jadd Shickler, "and four years later, we were his first choice to work with THE HIDDEN HAND." Shickler continues, "I sent him a letter after the breakup of SPIRIT CARAVAN saying essentially that if he wasn't done with music, he could always count on us to release anything he ever wanted to put on tape again, because I respect the hell out of the guy and love his music… I guess that really meant something to him, because now it's 2003 and MeteorCity is releasing the best music of his career."
THE HIDDEN HAND have been performing in the greater Washington, D.C. area with bands like SIXTY WATT SHAMAN, CLUTCH, SOLACE and THE RUBES throughout 2003. They also headlined the much-acclaimed Emissions From The Monolith rock festival on Memorial Day weekend.
THE HIDDEN HAND are Wino on lead vocals and guitar, Bruce Falkinburg on bass and vocals and Dave Hennessy on drums. The complete track listing for "Divine Propaganda" is as follows:
01. Bellicose Rhetoric
03. Screw the Naysayers
05. For All the Wrong Reasons
06. Tranquility Base
07. The Last Tree
08. The Hidden Hand (Theme)
09. Divine Propaganda
10. Prayer for the Night
Upcoming THE HIDDEN HAND tour dates:
Aug. 23 - Balcony Bar - Philadelphia, PA
Aug. 29 - Black Cat - Washington, DC
Sep. 06 - Ottobar - Baltimore, MD