Track Review: “Trembling Hands” – Mylets


Watching Mylets live is simply like nothing else. The project is made up solely of 20-year-old Henry Kohen, who sings, plays guitar, taps wildly at his two large pedalboards, and plays a drum machine – all with extreme precision. With many of these parts happening simultaneously, Mylets’s fast-paced brand of math rock is fittingly performed with an impressive but well-rehearsed haste. Mylets’ follow-up to his breakout EP, Retcon, is his debut LP, Arizona, which scheduled for release this spring. The recently debuted single is “Trembling Hands”, a bold statement to the direction Kohen is taking with his upcoming record.

Almost immediately, comparisons to Nine Inch Nails can be made on “Trembling Hands”. This is most noticeable in the chorus that kicks in where Kohen’s layered, gritty vocals and the dynamic electronic drumming come in full force over the synth-y and distorted guitar. Lyrics like the opening hook, “you were there / and I was far away,” and the chorus, “please, this is not my voice / these are not my plans / I am powerful with my trembling hands / and the world can’t give what my heart demands,” paint a clear picture to the introspective tone of the song.

But it’s Kohen’s expertise with his guitar and his familiarity with his pedalboard that drive the direction of the song: the way he uses his effects as an instrument all their own also brings his labelmate, Nick Reinhard of Tera Melos, to mind. Kohen’s effects anticipate the song’s slower, looped-out verse riff as it builds in distortion and tempo until the chorus hits head-on, satisfying exactly what we’ve been waiting for. This strategy is employed in reverse later on, transitioning from the full chorus to the more scaled-back and bass-heavy bridge.

Overall, “Trembling Hands” is a great track to promote this upcoming record with. Compared to the songs on Retcon, “Trembling Hands” is both catchier and more accessible, so it will be intriguing to see if the rest of the record goes in a similar direction.

Arizona is due April 21st by Sargent House. Mylets will be touring Europe following the record’s release from late April through early June with And So I Watch You From Afar, another Sargent House group who is releasing an album this year called Heirs.

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