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Streetlight Manifesto - The Hands That Thieve (Cover Artwork)

Streetlight Manifesto

Streetlight Manifesto: The Hands That ThieveThe Hands That Thieve (2013)
Victory

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
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Contributed by: MN_DrNickMN_DrNick
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The wait is over. Streetlight Manifesto's fifth studio album has finally seen the light of day. I've always thought that Streetlight Manifesto, excluding the covers albums 99 Songs of Revolution: Vol. 1 and Keasby Nights, have been a consistently great band when it comes to releasing albums of origi.
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The wait is over. Streetlight Manifesto's fifth studio album has finally seen the light of day. I've always thought that Streetlight Manifesto, excluding the covers albums 99 Songs of Revolution: Vol. 1 and Keasby Nights, have been a consistently great band when it comes to releasing albums of original material. The music one hears when listening to the band pretty much does a number on the senses with its chaotic moments and instrumentation all over the place. Once again, Tomas Kalnoky and crew deliver another great album in The Hands That Thieve.

Now, their last album of original material Somewhere in the Between was pretty good. However, it didn't have the lasting power that Everything Goes Numb did. The songs, while excellent, were basically all at the same pace (in a hurried, speedy punk/ska tempo). There really weren't any slowed down moments or anything really different between each songs as far as the feel would go. Or nothing quite catchy enough, for that matter. It felt like it was trying to outdo Everything Goes Numb a little too much at places. The Hands That Thieve is very different in some ways to both previous Streetlight albums.

That's not to say The Hands That Thieve isn't basically what you'd expect music wise from the band: Lots of fast paced punk/ska. Great horn sections. Great use of gang/backup vocals. You get this right away in your face with the opening track "The Three Of Us." The second number, "Ungrateful," is just a great punk song with horns. It's basically your typical Streetlight album you'd expect up until the sixth track, "If Only For Memories." It has a nice Caribbean feel that makes you wanna groove (yeah, that's right, makes you wanna dance). From there the album slows down the tempo significantly. This is what Somewhere in the Between really needed.

You still get what you get usually from Kalonky with these songs in terms of subject matter. The second to last track "Oh Me, Oh My" is something that I totally would have put as the album's closer. It's the catchiest song they've done in... well... probably ever. It has a chord progression that's similar to "In My Life" by the Beatles at moments, plus a memorable chorus. It's a great farewell song. And the great chord at the end with the trumpet's note making it an Ab7 chord? It makes me smile.

The Hands That Thieve is what you'd expect from this band to put out, but there is something definitely more special about it compared to everything previous. It never stops being good throughout. And with that, this album is a strong contender to be one of the best albums of the year.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
DouzePleursMGC (March 15, 2014)

this album was great and it surprised me to see very few to no mentions of it at all at the end of the year when people were talking about best albums of the year, because this album was great, definitely one of, if not the best albums of the year

Nap (June 6, 2013)

Best SF album.

Dubar (June 2, 2013)

I've only listened a few times, but this album really fell flat for me. I think SITB is their best album definitely, it just feels the most "complete" to me. This album has some good moments, but for the most part the songs just dont seem to stand out for me, and I dont think theres a song that I really like all the way through. Maybe it will grow on me with time, but for now I think its their weakest album to date (including 99 songs).

rhynomcgrath (May 15, 2013)

It feels like an excellent streetlight manifesto record. It feels like home.

It would probably get a better rating if we all referred to it as folk ska/punk.

Magnetbox (May 15, 2013)

Ungrateful and If Only For The Memories are the only songs I really like, and the latter is just a bit too long.

EmmyG (May 12, 2013)

Slowly starting to realize that bands that were around when I was in HS that put out albums now are going to change their style. That being said, this album was pretty good, likewise with Jimmy Eat World's new single, Steal You Back. Both bands are groups I've listened to for a while. I think it's important to understand that artists are going to grow/change directions a little. Anyone check out the new JEW song? http://smarturl.it/StealYouBack Thoughts??

lmchc (May 12, 2013)

even if you hate this band, steal this record.

Thrusters (May 8, 2013)

only listened once, didn't do much for me at all. just sounded like a hodgepodge of typical Streetlight Manifesto parts kinda like, thrown together in a build-a-bear assembly line type thing. that said, only one listen, so I should probably give it another shot. Love everything else they've released, so maybe this'll grow on me, even though just about everything else clicked right away.

krankykirk (May 8, 2013)

cocaine is a hell of a drug!

telegraphrocks (May 8, 2013)

Whoops! Forgot to change the score.
Seriously, this thing has taken steps down after some listens.

telegraphrocks (May 8, 2013)

Listened again... still biggest disappointment of the year.

wearestillalive (May 8, 2013)

I stopped reading when it became clear this review was written by someone who doesn't think Somewhere In The Between is the best Streetlight album (e.g. a wrong person).

mikexdude (May 8, 2013)

I really like it. Probably more than their other records.

Piata (May 8, 2013)

I was expecting this to be a dud so I'm pretty excited that they pulled it off so well. I do miss the massive bass and I'm not sure if it's as good as Everything Goes Numb but it's damn close.

eazyd2 (May 8, 2013)

The songs, while excellent, were basically all at the same pace (in a hurried, speedy punk/ska tempo).
The Hands That Thieve is very different in some ways to both previous Streetlight albums.
That's not to say The Hands That Thieve isn't basically what you'd expect music wise from the band: Lots of fast paced punk/ska

.... Yeah, I remember grinding my feet on Eddie's couch

eazyd2 (May 8, 2013)

so were letting retarded high schoolers do reviews now? cool

eazyd2 (May 8, 2013)

good job telegraphcocks saying the songs are too long. have you ever listened to streetlight manifesto before?

IanIsSuperRad (May 7, 2013)

Great album, but "Oh Me, Oh My" is probably my least favorite song on the album.

slymer (May 7, 2013)

I've never given these guys much of a listen before, but I like this album.

tenwestchaser (May 7, 2013)

I liked 99 Songs though. Twas rather fun.

KungPowza (May 7, 2013)

Oh yeah, I forgot the obligatory "fuck Victory" comment. Sorry guys.

KungPowza (May 7, 2013)

I like the songs, the mixing is really bugging me though. They've pretty much completely removed the bass guitar from the mix, which has always been the driving force behind their sound. However, they did bring the guitar and saxes (especially the baritone) to the forefront, which is kinda nice. Other than that I'm digging the album.

KevinEleven (May 7, 2013)

Since it had been so long since their last all-new album, I was skeptical Streetlight could pull off something that lived up to that kind of hype. I was wrong. I really like every song on here, and I'm impressed by how well all their different influences worked. Album of the year so far.

burntorangepeel (May 7, 2013)

I think this album is solid all the way through and really well crafted. I don't think it's an accurate description to classify them as ska, more like a punk band with horns.

orgcorepunker (May 7, 2013)

Best record Toh Kay has had anything to do with since Everything Goes Numb. Best ska album put out in the past maybe 5 years or so. And I don't hand out 5 stars regularly.

pokinatcha (May 7, 2013)

Excellent album, exceeded my expectations. There's no "Somewhere in the Between" or "A Better Place, A Better Time," but the quality is high and consistent throughout. Opener and closer are slight letdowns; I think the title track, which may be my favorite, should've been the closing song. Album of the year easily to this point.

telegraphrocks (May 7, 2013)

Biggest disappointment of the year.
No bad songs really, but no highlights either. All of the songs are just too long and never seem to go anywhere.
Even the covers album was a bit better.

marcsnitzer (May 7, 2013)

"The Three of Us" is a mess. I like the other 9 tracks though.

DRN (May 7, 2013)

Loved the album, love the band's progression. Tomas went pretty crazy on this album and that can really be hit or miss when you're expanding outside of the band's realm a bit, but it came out great. The first five tracks are all amazing, there's a bit of a lull after that but it finishes strong.

Streetlight albums are usually like that though. Start with a bang, have a couple throwaways and then a strong finishing song ("The Big Sleep". "What A Wicked Gang Are We"). Was really impressed with this effort. Well worth the wait.

davebrave4 (May 7, 2013)

I need a Skibz review. I won't trust anything his nemesis has to say.

ZappBrannigan (May 7, 2013)

I only listened to this a couple of times and haven't had the desire to give it a try again. Every song is too long and drawn out and they just don't sound like they have their heart in it. I felt the passion on EGN and SITB but here, it just seems like they're going through the motions. Maybe I'll warm up to it more, but it just seems overblown and half-hearted at the same time.

Also, SITB didn't have anything catchy? Down, Down, Down to Mephisto's Cafe is easily the catchiest song they've ever done, imo. One Foot On the Gas..., the title track, and Forty Days are also super infectious. We probably don't agree on this band at all.

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