Random Hand – Hit Reset

Rating: 4/5
Released: 2015
Label/Distributor: Bomber Music
Buy Album [URL]: http://bombermusic.limitedrun.com/products/559309-random-hand-hit-reset
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/randomhand

Random Hand finalBand line-up:

Robin Leitch – Trombone/Vocals
Joe Tilston – Bass/Vocals
Sean Howe – Drums/Samples
Dan Walsh – Guitar/Vocals

Tracklisting:

01 – Day One
02 – Death By Pitchforks
03 – Protect & Survive
04 – If I Save Your Back…
05 – After The Alarm
06 – Dead No Longer
07 – Maybe It’s A Prize
08 – Pack It Up
09 – A Clean Slate
10 – Abide
11 – Shelter As A Verb
12 – As Loud As You Can

 

Review:

In every scene there’s always that one band. That one band you can count on. The band you’ve seen multiple time, but never disappoint; that you’d always watch one more time. That you always take for granted will be around. Random Hand are one of those bands – until earlier this year when the UK punk scene stalwarts dropped the bomb that they were going on an indefinite hiatus.

For the last 13 years, the Yorkshire-bred ska/punk crossover band have truly entertained, picking up a reputation that can’t be bought, but had to be earned night by night under the gaze of hundreds. Some things have changed, including the line-up, but those defining qualities never shifted. And in a manner that suits that deep-rooted punk ethos this final album (for now) was funded through PledgeMusic, by the fans, hitting its goal in record time. Natch.

As expected, Hit Reset is not a gentile goodbye, nor is it a half-arsed party with some pound shop balloons, falling down banner and mediocre snacks from the shop down the road. This is a proper knees up, conjuring up that feel of good company and good music. A party that you’ll be wanting to repeat a few times.

‘Cause Hit Reset encompasses all that you expect from Random Hand and throws in a bit more. You’ve got hardcore exploration in ‘Day One’;  those classic trombone grooves on the fabulous ‘Death By Pitchfork’; quick-fire old school punk on ‘Protect & Survive’; a cracking ska number in ‘Pack It Up’; that dive into heavier waters on ‘A Clean Slate’. So many of the songs seem deliberately crafted for crowd singing, at all the shows that they won’t be doing anymore.

There’s a slight whiff of mainstream angling, a lot of catchy choruses; things that could open up Random Hand’s audience – again at a time when they won’t be around to capitalise on it. The production as well is more professional than punk, which is a bit of shift from the old days, but we’re not ones to gripe about good sound or pretend this impacts authenticity.

The first half of the album definitely comes out as the strongest, but we can’t not mention closing track ‘As Loud As You Can’. Riling the masses from the start, it mellows out for a moment mid-way, before leading us into a bristling trombone-heavy close. And then that’s it. Random Hand are out of there.

Put your hankies away though. A hiatus isn’t the end as the band themselves attest: “We’ve said at every turn, we’ll be back, and we will. When? We do not know,” says Tilston. I like to think of this not as goodbye, not as being broken up with, but going to live in different places for a while. Luckily Random Hand were kind enough to pack us a care package in Hit Reset. Thanks guys, thanks for it everything. Truly.

And in the time until they return, we urge you to hunt out others in the scene, to not take bands of this quality for granted. See them, support them, and don’t just mourn them when they go.

Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
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