Random Hand

Inhale/Exhale

Written by: PP on 06/02/2009 00:09:18

UK's Random Hand are a new acquaintance for me in that I've heard their name pop up in a few places before (like supporting Reel Big Fish for instance), but I haven't before had the chance to properly check them out. The release of their second album "Inhale/Exhale" and the usual hype that follows the UK bands (OMG OMG THE BEST NEW THING EVER) gave me that chance, and here we are with the review, enjoy it and check these guys out if ska's your thing at all.

Random Hand play a rare format of ska music known to the fans as ska-metal. In essence, ska-metal is rooted equally much in ska and punk as it is in metal and hardcore, resulting in a sound that's part Strung Out, part Skindred, and part Reel Big Fish. In fact, if the latter would've listened to metal when they were growing up instead, Random Hand is probably how they'd sound: party-inducing ska-music with ballsy guitars and killer riffs in the midst of the usual ska-beats and chillaxing atmosphere. A song like "Anger Management" varies from aggressive, Skindred-style ragga-metal passages into melodic woo-hoo choruses and nice horns on the background. Think of the way Catch 22 used trumpets on their latest masterpiece "Permanent Revolution", Random Hand use them more or less the same way here. While we're on the topic of Catch 22 here, I might as well mention "For Roni" which easily could've been on the aforementioned album, and that should tell you how good of a song it is.

Since this is a ska-album, we aren't cheated out of some jokes either. "British" is a humorous insult to what it means to be, you guessed it, British, and "A Spider In The Sink"'s lyrics are pretty nonsensical, unless the band is using the spider as a metaphor for something else... but something tells me they aren't.

Best songs on the album aside from the ones mentioned already include "I, Human", which is especially heavy on the horn usage, and "The Right Reasons", which has me thinking 'fanfare' every time I hear the introduction. There are a few misses on the album as well, but they aren't really anything to put you off from listening to the record. I for one think it's rather refreshing to hear a seldom applied approach to ska-music, and I'm happy to see that metalheads are able to have a cheerful sound as well. All fans of ska should check these guys out.

7

Download: For Roni, I Human, Anger Management
For the fans of: Skindred, Strung Out, Reel Big Fish, Catch 22
Listen: Myspace

Release date 09.02.2009
Rebel Alliance Recordings

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