Cruel Hand - Prying Eyes (Cover Artwork)

Cruel Hand

Cruel Hand: Prying EyesPrying Eyes (2008)
Bridge Nine Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: AllonAllon
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Despite the triple threat of releases Bridge Nine had just put out just a few weeks ago (rarities compilations from Crime in Stereo and Ruiner, plus a new full-length from Energy), what appears to be the hardest working label without comparison this year keeps on trucking with their newest release f.
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Despite the triple threat of releases Bridge Nine had just put out just a few weeks ago (rarities compilations from Crime in Stereo and Ruiner, plus a new full-length from Energy), what appears to be the hardest working label without comparison this year keeps on trucking with their newest release from the newest acquisition: Cruel Hand from Portland, Maine.

Those of you who might be checking out this group for the first time merely because of their label's merits will notice that Cruel Hand doesn't exactly fit in with much of the releases from Bridge Nine this year. Although three-fifths of the band also rock out in B9 labelmates Outbreak, the similarities between the groups aren't all that numerous. Cruel Hand is heavier, angrier, and play the kind of two-step mosh hardcore that runs more consistently with acts like Madball, This Is Hell and Cro-Mags.

There's really no embellishment to the Hand's sound. It's a straight-ahead powerhouse hardcore record complete with the usual trudging guitars, garbled vocals and drum beats that'll shake up your speakers and won't let up on any track. The whole album clocks in at a brisk 23 minutes, which is the perfect time frame for the band. Because of how beefed-up the record is, you're not gonna find much variety in these songs. It's a short, strong kick in the butt that'll give you the right heavy fix you're looking for.

For an added bonus to fans of the band, the production quality between Prying Eyes and their last record, Without a Pulse, has definitely improved, especially on the drum tracking. On Prying Eyes, the kit hits much harder and gives the whole recording a much more massive sound. It makes this a worthy followup to a well-recieved debut from just a year ago.

I'd recommend checking out "Life In Shambles" (which has the closest thing you'll find to a sing-along on the disc), "Begin Descension" and the dance-worthy rhythm on "Hounds," especially.


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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.
mind_eraser (January 2, 2009)

Cruel Hand is the epitome of what hardcore is about, and there is nothing wrong with that. It's hardcore, not a movie on the Lifetime channel. If you go to one of their shows, you'll understand what I mean by this. If the majority of the people in the crowd are moving to the music then the band must be doing something right..

Hardcore is all about having pissed off, negative energy (for the most part, at least). For the people who would rather criticize the music instead of enjoy it..just stay out of it.

breakout (November 6, 2008)

of course its melodramatic all hardcore is. i mean can anyone be that angry all the time

mikexdude (November 4, 2008)

How much musical knowledge do you have (not trying to be an asshole here, really)? You should look at it a little more in depth, you might find something you like; Verse's music is pretty brilliant.

Hardcore has always been melodramatic. It has always exaggerated its emotions.

ireviewmusic (November 4, 2008)

yes, Mike (X) Dude, I am talking about Aggression, which set a new watermark for the thoughtless of overrating of unnecessarily loud, boring, melodramatic hardcore.

glad you liked, it though. all the x dudes out there need stuff to rock out to.

mikexdude (November 3, 2008)

Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah!

If you're talking about Aggression, or any of their albums, you are highly mistaken! You should stop reviewing music.

ireviewmusic (November 3, 2008)

hating b9 is cool? news to me.

Verse record also sucked.

gabbagabbamike (November 3, 2008)

Really great production and hard songs. One of the best current hardcore bands right now. Can't wait to see them in Orlando on Friday.

mikexdude (November 3, 2008)

Bridge Nine rules. Period.

This band isn't pushing boundaries like Crime In Stereo, but the label is still a hardcore label and Cruel Hand is a very solid hardcore act. Don't hate.

mikek (November 3, 2008)

I saw these guys for the first time last week. They're a pretty tight hardcore act. Yes, they have some very formulaic "hardcore tendencies". There's not much in this genre that hasn't been done already in the last 15-20 years. But that's with all genres, yet it's nice to see labels, continuing to bring current artists along. Maybe they're not for everyone. And the elitists will be pissed that it's not "insert band name from the old days here", but the evolution of the scene needs to bring up new acts. Even the ones who follow the book. Further more, what else is there to add? You sprinkle in some melody and sing a bit more, and they're written off cause they're not "true hardcore". Throw in some metal riffs, they're too "metal-core" (whatever the hell that is.) Just some thoughts from someone who's seen the scene for a while. Thanks for reading.

d_bag (November 2, 2008)

hey guy, it's 2008. with the aid of myspace and home recordings every genre that could possibly be talked about on this website is over-saturated.

what does Bridge 9 have to do with that? i know it's very very cool to hate on that label now, but like it or not, they don't typically sign the generic bands. i will admit that Cruel Hand might be one of their least distinct recent signings, but if you look at the rest of their active bands, most of them are very distinguishable, and if you can't figure that out then you're not giving them a fair shot.

ireviewmusic (November 2, 2008)

generic crap. drives the genre further into the ground.

you call it a hard-working record label, I call it verging on oversaturation (in a genre that's already that way).

alvaro (November 2, 2008)

amazing album, I hope to see for Spain!!!

d_bag (October 31, 2008)

pretty good album. the first song "Above and Below" rules too.

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