Red Hands - In the End...
Record Label: Self-Released
Release Date: May 4, 2012
I'll put it flatly: if you haven't heard of these guys, you should. Breaking out of the Pittsburgh scene with their energized blend of old school post-hardcore and hardcore punk, Red Hands wasted no time in proving to me that they meant business. Right from the first riff of the album opener, I knew I was in for something great, and boy, was it great.
To that end, opening track "The Waves Won't Destroy Themselves" is embodies everything good about the album and more. Right away, the band develops its sound for the listener and basically says "if you don't like what you're hearing, just stop now, but I have a feeling you do." The distorted 7/4 guitar riff that starts the song off lends itself to what seems like shy vocals from Tyler Kirin, but he soon opens up full blast. From then on, the song is furious until its end. After that, the other five songs emanate the first in some way, building on it and adding a twist to make it its own track. Another standout track happens to be the closer, "23 Inches of Rain." It threw me back to letlive.'s closer on Fake History, Day 54, with its sheer passion and energy from start to finish. If you want to get a good idea of what these guys are about and what they're capable of, those two tracks are the way to go.
Kirin's vocals are a shining feature throughout the record. Period. His voice soars immediately on the first track and simply doesn't stop until the end, 20-some odd minutes later. His range is untouchable, and he sings each note with such power, clarity, and inflection that I was hooked from the beginning. His Rody Walker-esque vibrato caught me off guard, but it grew on me quickly, as well. By the end of the album his passion had blown me away, leaving me begging for more. The production of the album is also rather fresh and raw-sounding, giving it an honest feel with nothing to hide. The vocals were pure and, thankfully, not over-produced, leaving Kirin room to impress just as he is instead of under a bunch of production and autotune. This type of production is just what the record needed, adding as much to the record as the members do, themselves.
The music, while not necessarily groundbreaking, shows clear signs of thought and potential. The guitars, Glassjaw-sounding as they are, remain relentless the entire time, giving the music power and movement. The drums do the same, providing solid tempo while allowing the other members the room they needed to shine. Overall, the music threw me back to post-hardcore from 7 or 8 years ago, the genre's prime time, in my opinion. It's nothing new, per se, but it's certainly nothing you'll hear today unless you go digging a bit.
Overall, this release already shows a level of maturity most bands wouldn't be able to boast on their debut release and more potential than almost any other I've listened to. It's only a matter of time before these guys really break out and show the music world what they're made of.