48 Thrills - Hand Claps and Ass Slaps (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

48 Thrills

Hand Claps and Ass Slaps (2010)


Opening with the raucous "Shake and Break", 48 Thrills nail their intentions to their mic stands and head off on a path of good quality, solid punk rock delivered with an attitude of just rocking the hell out of each track on this EP, making all of the songs have an anthemic quality to them. This really made sure I didn't lose focus of what I was listening to, and even though at five tracks long that should not be too difficult, it's always good to have something that you really don't want to be distracted from.

Once "Shake and Break" really has the pedal down, it gives the impression of Off with Their Heads being fronted by Welly of the now-defunct Four Letter Word, which is quite an effective combination here. Overall, that is what the rest of the tracks remind me of, but with the occasional switch to a sort of Social Distortion/Blacklist Royals kind of vibe at times.

"The New Black and Blue" has a big sound and a much slower pace, but still manages to convey a powerful feeling built within the song that is almost impossible not to like. "Andy" has that Off with Their Heads thing going on again, but without Welly fronting them this time, and is another good song that (like the others) I'd imagine is perfect for a live setting with many beers being imbibed whilst enjoying the 48 Thrills spectacle.

"...Oh There You Are" is has a bit more rock than punk in the mix, but with a big chorus it's easily a song that I can see myself singing along to on each play and also have the chorus jumping into my head from nowhere–always the sign of a good song. With "I Can Let Go", the EP comes to a massive end and once it finishes it just means it's time to play the whole EP again.

As with so many bands around today who are competing for people's ears, it can be difficult for any band to actually stand out from the crowd, but 48 Thrills manage to do that for me with ease. I've now added their 2009 album, Daredevil, to my collection–also a decent listen and recommended if Hand Claps is your cup of tea. If anything, Daredevil is a bit more reminiscent of Against Me!, although still with a massive dose of Off with Their Heads in the mix–but it does seem as if they've beefed up their sound/act between these two releases.

By the way, are there actually 48 thrills, and if so, what are they?!