Random Hand

Hit Reset

Written by: MAK on 17/09/2015 16:44:49

It is hardly common practice for a band to make an album just before “going away for a very long time” as vocalist Robin Leitch has been saying at recent shows, but that is exactly what UK ska punks Random Hand have decided to do. Having just finished their farewell tour, the four-piece released their fourth studio album “Hit Reset” to select customers on the evening of their final show. A decision made public at the beginning of the year, that the band would be making one last run of shows, also announcing they would like to record an album with the help of fans in a crowdfunding campaign. For anyone that did pledge, they would have received the album on the September 13th. Anyone who didn’t pledge will have to wait until the October 2nd where it will be released by Bomber Music.

Many of us have come to know Random Hand for their heavily ska and punk influenced anthems, with hints of hardcore, metal and dub too. What seems to have changed for “Hit Reset” is that the focus is less on the ska and more about the punk and hardcore. Opening track “Day One” shows this with the extremely fast paced beats and aggressive shouting vocals for the verse, and a chorus melody that is extremely reminiscent of Sum 41’s “Still Waiting”. This trend continues with more punk anthems like “A Clean Slate” and “Dead No Longer”. Not that this concept is completely new to Random Hand, the straight up punk and hardcore influences have appeared before on tracks like the “The Story” and “Mass Producing Monsters”. These tracks were just used a lot more sparingly on previous albums where the ska is far more dominant.

Of course the ska still flows fluently in certain tracks that appear to be the real highlights of the album. “After The Alarm” kicks off with highly enjoyable trombone melodies that would have you wanting to dance along instantly. “Pack It Up” is a pure ska anthem that would have had crowds eating out of the palms of their hands. Verses that are highly influenced by third wave ska, fun sounding muted guitars with lots of layered vocal sections that invite gang vocals. Then a chorus that is one of the catchiest in Random Hand’s history, “fuck this shit, were doing it our way, pack up move along, pack it up move along” repeated several times. Without a doubt, you’ll easily pick it up and start singing along. The Yorkshire lads have never been strangers to catchy choruses, but they seem a lot catchier than usual on “Hit Reset”. The way they are sung and the layered backing vocals make them stand out a hell of a lot more than on previous releases. Clearly they are designed for us all to sing them right back, especially in “Protect & Survive”.

In general “Hit Reset” sounds a lot more professionally produced than previous releases, which all had a rather underground edge to them. This more professional sound is what could push Random Hand into a more mainstream view, which they deserve after being one of the UK’s favourite ska punk bands in recent years. It just seems funny that this step forward has come at the time the band is taking a long break. Random Hand have said themselves they are really proud of this album and rightly so. The energy is still there, the angst and the fun counterbalance each other perfectly as they always have done. The sensation brings both a smile to your face yet with a hint of sadness because these songs are great, but it will be quite a while before we get to witness them live. A fantastic farewell album from the Yorkshire lads. Random Hand we will miss you!

8

Download: Day One, Pack It Up, After The Alarm
For The Fans Of: Capdown, Popes Of Chillitown, Anti-Vigilante, T//Alan
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 02.10.2015
Bomber Music

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