Cut Off Your Hands

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Cut Off Your Hands
Cut Off Your Hands performing at Falls Festival, 2007
Cut Off Your Hands performing at Falls Festival, 2007
Background information
Also known asShaky Hands (until 2006)
OriginAuckland, New Zealand
GenresIndie rock, indie punk, post-punk, jangle pop, power pop
Years active2006–2020
LabelsFrench Kiss
Speak N Spell
Pop That
Super Fuzz
MembersNick Johnston
Phil Hadfield
Brent Harris
Chris Wakefield
Past membersMichael Ramirez
Elroy Finn
Jonathan Lee

Cut Off Your Hands (COYH) is a post-punk band from New Zealand influenced by international groups such as The Smiths, Gang of Four, Orange Juice and Talking Heads, as well as NZ bands such as The Mint Chicks and This Night Creeps. Formed from the ashes of Auckland post-punk act Nova Echo, Cut Off Your Hands have since released a number of recordings on the labels Speak N Spell, SIXSEVENINE and French Kiss Records. In 2020, the band announced its final shows and the release of their third album HLLH.

Band members[edit]

  • Nick Johnston – lead vocals
  • Philip Hadfield – bass, backing vocals
  • Brent Harris – drums, backing vocals
  • Michael Ramirez – guitar, backing vocals (2006–2009)
  • Elroy Finn - drums (2009)
  • Jonathan Lee – guitar, backing vocals (2009-2018)


Cut Off Your Hands formed in Auckland in 2006 under the name Shaky Hands. Vocalist Nick Johnston, guitarist Michael Ramirez, bassist Philip Hadfield and drummer Brent Harris were previously in Auckland post-punk act Nova Echo along with Djeisan Suskov. When that band broke up, Johnston formed a new band called Shaky Hands and enlisted Hadfield, Harris and Ramirez.[1] Owing to a Portland band of the same name they changed their name to Cut Off Your Hands (the original title of their debut EP). The name change saw them lose a pre-booked performance on a children's show in the process.[2]

The band released a number of EPs and in 2008 released their debut album You & I which reached number 21 on the New Zealand music charts and received generally favourable reviews internationally.[3]

In 2009, Michael Ramirez left the band, being replaced by Jonathan Lee. Drummer Brent Harris was forced to take leave from the band due to hearing loss, being replaced by Elroy Finn so that touring could continue in 2009. Harris subsequently rejoined the band at a later date.[4]

In 2011, the band released their follow-up album Hollow. Reception was generally favourable, with critics praising their sound maturing while retaining the energy of their debut.[2][5][6]

In 2020, the band announced the release of their third album, named HLLH. At the same time, they announced they would be playing their final concerts in October 2020.



  • You & I (2008) #21 NZ
  • Hollow (2011)
  • HLLH (2020)


  • Shaky Hands (August 2006, October 2007 in North America)
  • Blue on Blue (July 2007)
  • Happy as Can Be (October 2008)
  • Live at Lime presents Cut Off Your Hands (November 2008; digital download)


  • "Still Fond/Closed Eyes" (8 October 2007; 7", digital download)
  • "Closed Eyes (Remix)" (12 November 2007; 12", digital download)
  • "Oh Girl/Turn Cold" (January 2008; 7")
  • "Expectations/The Witch (Sonics cover)" (18 August 2008; 7")
  • "Happy as Can Be" (2008)
  • "Turn Cold" (23 January 2009)
  • "You Should Do Better" (2011)
  • "Fooling No One" (2011)
  • "Hollowed Out" (2011)
  • "Hate Somebody" (15 November 2016, digital download)
  • "Higher Lows and Lower Highs" (27 January 2017, digital download)


  1. ^ Carew, Anthony (7 September 2007). "Old hands new name". The Age. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b Tangari, Joe (23 August 2011). "Cut Off Your Hands". Pitchfork. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Reviews for You & I by Cut Off Your Hands". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  4. ^ Thorne, Richard. "Cut Off Your Hands - Rather Be Down Than Out". NZ Musician. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  5. ^ Phares, Heather (16 August 2011). "Hollow: Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  6. ^ James, Matt (16 August 2011). "Hollow: Review". Popmatters. Retrieved 24 October 2012.

External links[edit]