Monday, February 18, 2008

FLAMING HANDS - Aussie New Wave Gem #3

Similar to aforementioned Aussie gems #1 and #2, The Tribe and The Dugites, Sydney's Flaming Hands were an early 80s Australian new wave pop band that recorded some amazing songs. Unfortunately, their output never translated to much more than a cult following, and today there is very little information available on the band.

Flaming Hands' principal members were singer Julie Mostyn and songwriter/guitarist Jeff Sullivan, who together created something truly special. Sullivan delivered memorable, hook-filled songs that Mostyn made sparkle with her soaring, soulful vocals.

The band released their first single - I Belong to Nobody / The Stranger - on Phantom Records in 1980. They followed it up with four more singles - Wake Up Screaming / Sweet Revenge, It's Just That I Miss You / Go Or Stay, Cast My Love / Kismet and The Edge / Sacrifice. These singles were marked by an earthier sound than what Flaming Hands would be producing by the time they released their first and only full-length album in 1984. The self-titled LP, which featured Andrew Fariss and Kirk Pengilly from INXS, is enjoyable but relies a bit too heavily on synths. You can check it out on the Ausrock blog.

Unfortunately, the LP failed to get them the recognition they deserved, and Flaming Hands called it quits shortly after its release.

The Edge
is arguably Flaming Hands' finest moment. It is around three minutes of melodic power pop bliss, enhanced by simple-yet-poignant lyrics and Mostyn's spot-on vocals. Another of the band's most powerful singles is the heartfelt ballad It's Just That I Miss You, backed with the punchy Go Or Stay.

Flaming Hands material has still not seen a CD release, but you can find my vinyl rips of The Edge and It's Just That I Miss You singles below. You can find most of the other singles on Overhere's blog.

- Flaming Hands - It's Just That I Miss You / Go Or Stay (7" Single, 1982)
- Flaming Hands - The Edge / Sacrifice (7" Single, 1983)

The Dugites, The Tribe, Blondie, INXS, The Pretenders, The Sinceros, The Motels, Martha and the Muffins, The Tourists

- Flaming Hands on RateYourMusic
- Break Down and Cry Video on Youtube


Ralph Alfonso said...

When i was head of promotions at the now defunct Attic Records in Canada, we released this album and gave it a good kick at the can. I was convinced this group was going to happen, but sadly, canadian radio passed (constrained by Canadian content radio regulations). Oh well....

Ralph Alfonso

Frank K said...

Thanks for the comment, Ralph. It's too bad this band never hit. Their LP definitely sounds like a hit for the time it was released.

Anonymous said...

"edge" is one of those songs that, for some reason, keeps coming back while walking, etc. - it did again today and neat to find this spot for it - have given much vinyl from those times away but the 45" of this one stays

phil orphan said...

i would just like to mention that Flaming Hands actually released 3 45s on the "phantom" record label in the 80s in this order ph3-i belong to nobody....ph8- wake up screaming...ph14- its just that i miss you.....none of these tracks appear on the later lp, the edge..i have all the above mentioned 45s...

Daniel Beekwilder said...

My favourite band of the 80s, bought their album on the day of its release & got a badge ;)

Why didn't they take off???