Review: Random Hand – Seething Is Believing

Random Hand have been establishing themselves as UK ska heroes for some time now. The band are well versed in furious punk rock with a substantial amount of horn thrown in and have been playing together for quite some time. Though they’ve proven to be favourites in the underground punk scene, Random Hand still just aren’t as big as they deserve to be.Seething Is Believing is their third album to date and hopefully, the one that will definitely get them noticed.

Right from the start, you’re hit by an impressive horn section and enough politics to make you want to stand up and shout about it. ‘Tales Of Intervention’ is the perfect lead track, virtually assaulting the listener into waking up and doing something about this horrible mess we’re in. Damn catchy as well. ‘Sons Of Robots’ takes an instantly different track with a more downbeat intro before it slams into the main affair, framing perfectly what the album’s all about – messing with your expectations. Despite a clear influence from bands like Capdown and King Prawn, Random Hand have really taken the ‘ska-core’ approach and made it their own. No song sounds alike here; every track has its own unique turn, from the positively dizzying opening to ‘Start The Fans’ to ‘Henchman’s hopping between different breakdown styles, everything is memorable. It may not be an enormous leap forward from their previous material but Seething Is Believing is much tighter and the influence from the road (they’ve played a seriously impressive number of shows in their lifetime) is obvious.

There are not many sections of the album that seem immediately relevant to your skanking needs, but the fantastic horn section towards the end of ‘Bones’ and the opener to ‘Not A Number’ are more than enough to get you moving. The more punk approach to the album means that the horns are generally used to punctuate the songs as opposed to dominating them, which is no bad thing. Instead, the album presents a wide range of punk rock staples, including some impressive gang vocals in ‘Due To Circumstance’. This album was definitely meant to be experienced live – you can feel the frustration in the vocals, the pounding bass, the commanding riffs and is possibly one of the most involving records I’ve heard so far this year.

Seething Is Believing is an album truly driven by political comment and could not have come at a more relevant time in our country’s history. With the great coalition cock-up of 2010, we need now more than ever for people to stand up and shout out their discontent. Random Hand have it down to an art. Robin Leitch’s vocals contain scowling, snarling statements about the EU, the education system and our constant attribution to being simply pieces of data. There’s plenty of angry gems to be found within. The revolution starts here, guys!

Simply put, an absolutely brilliant release. If you’ve never listened to Random Hand before, now’s the time to change all that, because with a release like this, they deserve to be noticed.

4 out of 5 high fives!

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