Chalk Hands

Don't Think About Death

Written by: PP on 12/07/2022 20:05:36

Chalk Hands is a Brighton, UK-based screamo / melodic hardcore hybrid, whose debut album "Don't Think About Death" is a textbook release in the genre in the sense that it faithfully follows what many others have done before them. It's one of those records that lives and breathes through its lingering guitar ambiance sandwiched between old-school screamo chaos and raw urgency. Think bands like Defeater and Counterparts, with a healthy dose of punk undertones in the vein of Touché Amoré, or bands like Suis La Lune and older Pianos Become The Teeth. If you want to go further back, it's records by Saetia and Hot Cross you need to be looking at.

Their vocalist sports a particularly coarse, ravaging screaming style that's halfway between decipherable and monstrously heavy. Producer Lewis Johns (Rolo Tomassi, Svalbard, Employed To Serve) gets a crisp, clean mix out of him that results in a great quiet/loud contrast between him and the slick guitar melodies that define the ambient platform used in multiple songs.

Album highlight "February's New Friend" is a great example. The chaotically howled screams give it urgency and a sense of chaos, whilst the atmospheric lingering riffs create a back-chilling melody that, particularly during the tempo change towards the end, feels like it belongs right up there with the aforementioned bands. Likewise, "A Velleity" delivers on pure ambiance to an extent where it feels like these post-rock-inspired segments are what Chalk Hands should concentrate on in the future.

The reason I mentioned that is because while "Fail, Grasp, Restore" and "Teeth & Nails" are solid screamo / melodic-hardcore cuts, they don't distinguish enough in what is an extremely saturated niché genre to start with. Fortunately, Chalk Hands focus less on crushing heaviness and more on the quiet/loud dynamic this type of approach allows, leaving behind an enjoyable record that should make fans of screamo feel right at home.


Download: February's New Friend; Fail, Grasp, Restore; A Velleity
For the fans of: Counterparts, Suis La Lune, Frameworks, It Prevails, Touché Amoré
Listen: Facebook

Release date 18.03.2022
Dog Knights Productions

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