Icecream Hands (also seen as Ice Cream Hands) were a power pop band formed in Melbourne, Victoria in 1992 as Chuck Skatt and His Icecream Hands with Charles "Chuck Skatt" Jenkins as lead singer-songwriter and rhythm guitarist, Arturo "Arch" Larizza on bass guitar, his brother Dom "Benedictine III" Larizza on lead guitar and Derek Smiley on drums. They shortened the name, released an Extended play, Ice Cream Hands, on Rubber Records and, after a year, Douglas Robertson had replaced Arch on bass guitar.
In 1997 Marcus Goodwin replaced Dom on lead guitar and their second album, Memory Lane Traffic Jam was released in the United States (US) on Not Lame Recordings; it was acclaimed by AllMusic reviewer, Stephen Thomas Erlewine as "immediately catchy, but the songs grow stronger upon each listen -- a hallmark of a truly fine pop album". They have twice been nominated for an Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Award, for 'Best Adult Contemporary Album' in 2000 for their third album, Sweeter than the Radio and 'Best Independent Release' in 2002 for "Rain, Hail, Shine" from their next album, Broken UFO. While on hiatus, Jenkins pursued his solo career before briefly reuniting the band which released The Good China in 2007. Jenkins then issued his third solo album in 2008, while other band members became involved in separate projects.
Charles Jenkins had been a solo artist in Adelaide where, as Chuck Skatt, he formed The Mad Turks from Istanbul as their vocalist in 1984 with Dominic Larizza (as Dom Benedictine III) on drums and later on guitar, Martyn Christopher on bass guitar and Matthias Eckhardt on guitar. The band relocated to Melbourne by 1989, renamed as The Mad Turks after Eckhardt left, Jenkins took up rhythm guitar, and they disbanded there in 1991. Jenkins and Larizza recruited his brother Arturo "Arch" Larizza (ex-The Saints) on bass guitar and Derek Smiley on drums to form Chuck Skatt and His Icecream Hands in 1992. The name was shortened to Icecream Hands which Jenkins took from the lyrics of a 1984 Robyn Hitchcock song "Flavour of Night" (from I Often Dream of Trains) and is an English term for masturbation. Their debut release, Ice Cream Hands was a six-track Extended play (EP) on independent label Rubber Records and distributed by Shock Records.
In 1993 they released a full length album, Travelling... Made Easy, and Douglas Robertson replaced Arch Larizza on bass guitar--Arch re-united with Chris Bailey (ex-The Saints) in Bailey's backing band. Travelling... Made Easy was released in Europe in 1995 on Blue Rose Records with four additional tracks and was described as "quite an accomplished and ambitious effort". In Australia they released their second EP, Supermarket Scene in 1994 followed by two more EPs Olive (November 1995) and Here We Go 'Round Now (July 1997). On the 11th of June, 1997 the band performed on the RMITV show Under Melbourne Tonight.
Marcus Goodwin (ex-Yolk) had replaced Dom Larizza on lead guitar by August 1997 and they released their second full length album, Memory Lane Traffic Jam. By then Rubber Records was being distributed by BMG and the album was released in the United States (US) on Not Lame Recordings. Three bonus tracks were added to the US release, which was acclaimed by AllMusic reviewer, Stephen Thomas Erlewine as "immediately catchy, but the songs grow stronger upon each listen -- a hallmark of a truly fine pop album".
Sweeter than the Radio, co-produced by Icecream Hands and Wayne Connolly, was released in 1999. One of the singles, "Nipple" was written by Jenkins about an early girlfriend who attracted his attention at a bus stop. With a lack of commercial success they nevertheless achieved critical acclaim when the album was nominated for an ARIA Music Award, for 'Best Adult Contemporary Album' in 2000. Their next album, Broken UFO, produced by Shane O'Mara and East Van Parks, contained the track, "Rain, Hail, Shine" which was nominated as 'Best Independent Release' at the ARIA Music Awards of 2002.
Rubber Records released a 2× CD greatest hits collection, You Can Ride My Bike: The Best of the Icecream Hands in 2004. While on hiatus, Jenkins pursued his solo career to release two albums, Bungalow (2004) and The City Gates (2005) on Parole Records. Icecream Hands briefly reunited for The Good China, issued in 2007 on the independent label Dust Devil Music. Jenkins returned to his solo work and released Blue Atlas on Dust Devil Music in 2008. Robertson (as "Doug Root") joined Melbourne-based alternative rock group Root! in 2008, he had guested on their debut album, Root! (2007). They released a second album, Get Up Yourself in 2009. Smiley also briefly joined ROOT as Smiley Root and recorded Surface Paradise with them before moving to his next project Buff Uncle. As from January 2010, Goodwin and Smiley perform as the duo Buff Uncle.
Charles Jenkins - vocals, guitar,
Arch Larizza - bass guitar,
Dom Larizza - guitar,
Derek Smiley - drums, vocals,
Douglas Robertson - bass guitar, vocals,
Marcus Goodwin - guitar, vocals