Streetlight Manifesto – The Hand That Thieve


The Hand That Thieve


Victory Records




For Fans Of

Reel Big Fish, The Specials


Fifth album from punk outfit.


70 / 100

You can’t really blame Streetlight Manifesto for wanting to go on hiatus, plagued with label and legal issues, especially on this new release. It would be easy for the band to become a little fed up. ‘The Hands That Thieve,’ the group’s fifth record was supposed to be accompanied by their first ever live EP, and an acoustic version of the entire record. The live EP was squashed and the acoustic album is still up in the air with the group also taking time off to pursue other music ventures.

So while the future of Streetlight Manifesto is a little uncertain, they have left fans with some energetic ska to get them through the break. The album opener ‘The Three Of Us’ is hectic, energetic and driven by its horn section. There is a sense of urgency or unrest that makes for a fairly intense way of kicking things off, but this is somewhat simmered down by the far more light hearted, ‘Ungrateful’, which quickly turns into some fast paced punk rock laced with plenty of melody.

The feel of this record can be best compared to that on ‘Somewhere In The Between,’ the group’s third album, as there is a strong punk influence in many of these tracks.

Lyrically the album is quite dark and very honest in its delivery. While this is often offset by the bright and happy world that is ska music, the undertones of negativity run rampant throughout the proceedings, especially on the album’s title track.

If you do need a pick me up, as this band clearly do, why not recruit some Mariachi? Record stand out ‘If Only For The Memories’ does exactly that with a great gang vocal chorus line and complex percussion. Streetlight would never leave you hanging, they don’t want to depress you then go away for awhile, which is why everything ends with an anthem that you can sing whilst drunk with your mates on ‘Oh Me, Oh My’ and some words of comfort in the guitar led closer ‘Your Day Will Come.’


Streelight Manifesto fans probably wouldn’t complain if this is the album that the band exit stage on, it’s a solid combination of everything the group has ever been about, albeit with fairly melancholy overtones. That being said, it’s only a hiatus and no one knows what the future may bring.


1. The Three Of Us
2. Ungrateful
3. The Littlest Things
4. The Hands That Thieve
5. With Any Sort Of Certainty
6. If Only For Memories
7. They Broke Him Down
8. Toe To Toe
9. Oh Me, Oh My
10. Your Day Will Come

Leave a Reply

You must be registered and logged in to comment on this post.