Brooklyn-based experimental rockers Cloud Becomes Your Hand never sit still for long on debut album Rocks or Cakes, a dense pastiche of knotty compositional rock, glimmering psychedelia, and hidden but persistent pop hooks. Standout track "Sand of Sea" quickly moves from aquatic, Beatlesque guitar and organ tones into soft, psychy vocal harmonies before breaking down into both long patches of plush chamber pop sounds and even a more acoustic take on prog rock before returning to the verse. Blippy synths and courtly guitars wander around playfully, evoking the spirit of Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, Grizzly Bear, and even early Of Montreal in the space of the song's short four minutes. This fantastical blend of influences and sonic shapes runs throughout the entire album, from the Gastr del Sol-meets-Ween soft symphonics and cartoon monster vocals of "Rat Jumps" to the dizzying chimes and wide-eyed indie rock-at-the-carnival riffing of "Bay Shamps."
AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas