Steady Hands – Brandy of the Damned


Artist

Album

Brandy of the Damned

Label

Lame-O Records

Year

2014

Genre

For Fans Of

Frank Turner - Modern Baseball

Summary

Brandy of the Damned is a much needed injection of folk punk into a scene sorely lacking.

Rating

67 / 100

If you’re a self proclaimed Frank Turner groupie (as so many of us are), still have ‘You’re Gonna Miss It All’ on loop, almost five months after its release, and are of the opinion that the punk biz is sorely lacking in 60’s inspired folk infused tunes, then Steady Hands is your Christmas come early, and Sean Huber, Modern Baseball drummer extraordinaire, is Santa Clause.

The title track, ‘Brandy of the Damned’, begins with the slow introduction of a thoughtful piano melody, but the band wastes no time switching the temp up a notch, with a steady beat and the rusty and hefty punk vocals of Huber making its debut on ‘Pretty Good Year.’ Everything about the track is instantly appealing, from the addictive country guitar hook at the end of the verses, to the slightly cheesy feel of the choruses. Take particular note of the emotionally wrought chorus of ‘Southern Dream,’ which may be one of the better moments on the record.

 Steady Hands have taken their folk influences seriously. On tracks like ‘Fragile Heart,’ and ‘Southern Dream’ punk may tickle the heavier parts of the track, particularly in the areas where Huber’s robust vocals grate against the instrumentals. However, it’s pretty obvious that it’s the typical folk conventions, specifically that each song begs a sing along that form the structures of the trackss on Brandy of the Damned. That being said, ‘We Will Rise’ exposes something more of this EP, of an apt and rebellious lyrical ability that complements the dissonance of Huber’s vocals appropriately.

The record concludes with a track that is darker than the rest, ‘Skin and Bones,’ with lyrics and a baseline guitar riff that errs on the side of melancholy and maybe even a little sinister. Still though there’s the happy-happy piano melodies and the dance-able choruses, that, coupled with Huber’s sometimes ferocious, sometimes hopeful lyrics, makes for a confusing conclusion.

Conclusion

Brandy of the Damned is EP number three for Huber and his folk buddies, and by now they really seem to have their routine polished.Paying tribute to the cosy limerick of his chief breadwinner, Huber excels at song writing and melody on Brandy of the Damned.

 

Tracklisting

1. Brandy Of The Damned
2. Pretty Good Year
3. Fragile Heart
4. Southern Dream
5. We Will Rise
6. Skin and Bones

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