So I don’t keep up much with hardcore these days and christian hardcore even less (if solid state doesn’t put it out, it will probably go unnoticed). I know kind of what is going on but I’m not a fan of many newer bands. And then we have Hands.
I was on the Facedown Records site and clicked the link to Hands myspace page. First thing they had going for them was the name of the band, Hands. Short and to the point (the same with name of the album), a plus in my book. Good artwork and a good track posted on myspace was enough for me to check the album out. Their described as post hardcore/screamo but the album moves more towards the hardcore end of the spectrum and is not in any shape close to the modern screamo scene. Thank God. At times I’m reminded of Misery Signals.
The opening track Hurricanes comes right at you and kicks you in the face. A mix of Isis and Misery Signals. Really heavy and really groove based. Yes the singing vocals aren’t the strongest but they compliment the screaming And the sound doesn’t require pitch perfect, auto-tuned nonsense (you can get that from Attack Attack). Rescue continues in the same vain. The grooves and melody never take away from how heavy this album is.
The album as a whole reminds me of older bands (Cave-In, The Blamed, Bloodshed) and a few newer bands making quality melodic heavy music (Trenches, Misery Signals). It’s not at all in the vain of the newer screamo scene (Underoath and the like) and that’s not a bad thing.
As far as song diversity, forget it. What you hear on track one is what you’re going to get for the rest of the album. Not that I minded that at all. It’s good to hear a heavy record from start to finish. Tracks like Robed In Majesty and Resistance bring a little more of the emo side into the music but 2 minutes into the songs the groove and heaviness comes back.
Another winning point on this album are the drum tracks. Not the heavily sampled and triggered kits that have become associated with heavy music the past couple of years.
The final track Creator is very similar to the final tracks on the past couple of Underoath albums. Slow, almost ballad type songs to close. It’s the song that drifts furthest away from the heavy groove sound that Hands has created. If you hand in there, there is a hidden track that fits right in with the rest of the album and is another good song.
Great debut from a good band. I look forward to seeing what happens now. There are two paths they could take. One good, one terrible.