This Ransom Hand article was written by Viktor Balchikliev, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse
One of the best British ska bands Random Hand return with a sixth (sort of, if one counts the re-release of debut ‘Change Of Plan’) studio album. Earlier this year, the band officially announced an indefinite hiatus before starting a PledgeMusic Campaign to fund the release of ‘Hit Reset.’ Their target goal was then significantly overpassed only to see the much anticipated work come out in October.
Ranging from traditional ska punk to heavier meta, Random Hand have cemented their leading position in the contemporary punk scene in England. Originating from Keighley, West Yorkshire in 2002, the band quickly raised to fame and has toured along with big names such as Voodoo Glow Skulls, Reel Big Fish, and Propagandhi, building a solid fan base. In September, they ended their career with spectacular live show at Camden Underworld, London, along with long-term friends from Sonic Boom Six.
From the very first track, ‘Hit Reset’ proves to be exactly what everyone expects from Random Hand – fast, aggressive yet melodic, positive, raw punk album. The record follows the logical stylistic continuity from arguably their best ‘Inhale/Exhale’(2009) through their last ‘Seething Is Believing’ (2011). Once again, Robin Leitch provides the singing/talking along with the significant trombone parts. Joe Tilson plays the bass, the guitarist Dan Welsh brings the punk riffs, and Sean Howe’s drumming adds to the unstoppable beat, with everyone helping with the group shouting.
‘Day One’ and ‘Protect & Survive’ give a kicking heavy start to the album, while ‘Death By Pitchforks’ and ’After The Alarm’ introduce the emblematic ska melodies and rhythm. ‘If I Save You Back…’ stands out with emotional charge and melodic chorus. Additional vocal diversity can be heard in ‘Dead No Longer’, the punk-rock gem ‘Pack It Up’, and ‘Abide’. All other tracks follow the typical Random Hand style with musical influences from reggae, punk, ska, metal, and hip-hop.
Lyrically, the album follows the band’s tradition of exploiting socio-political issues, as well as personal and emotional themes. The first few spins doesn’t really suggest any promising punk hits of the rank of ‘Anger Management’ but the album gradually grows in the listener. Few years from now ‘Hit Reset’ will surely be remember as the record that ended Random Hand’s short yet productive career in the most suitable manner.
With absolutely no surprise, ‘Hit Reset’ is a good album, no better or worse than any other Random Hand has released during the years. It hits hard, jumps energetically, runs fast and carries the essential melodic parts for a quality ska punk record. Charged with that extra level of emotion it only makes saying farewell to one of the best British bands in the last decades much, much harder.