Hand to Hand - A Perfect Way to Say Goodbye (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Hand to Hand

A Perfect Way to Say Goodbye (2005)


Dear Hand to Hand,

I wish I didn't have to write this note. I wanted to like you guys, I really did. When "Preamble" began, and Robert Kellom's wicked scream came through my speakers, I was excited for things to come. I was a bit unsure what lie around the bend, but I knew that with a scream like that, I was in for a real treat. But you let me down, guys. I judged you too early.

See, things were all fine for me until about 45 seconds through the song; that's when my trust was broken. That's when the singing came in, and this disappointed me for two reasons. The first reason is the most obvious -- that it really didn't sound very solid. I know that's blunt, but to get better, you have to know what's wrong in the first place, right? I tried to like those singing vocals, but they're too bland, too off-key for my personal tastes. Those vocals sounded a bit unnecessary, too. Things were going well. Sure, it was only 45 seconds, but things were really looking up. That singing really changed my mind for the worst, though, and I don't want you guys to be too bothered, because I do have a few other small complaints.

When I heard the singing vocals, something unsettling occurred to me. I won't sugarcoat it, the lyrics are just plain terrible. Ah, feels good to get that off my chest. But let me level with you guys. "with my life wide open there is change in the air / I'm ripping out my eyes just to say goodbye;" that's awful. And the fact that those words are badly sung only further compounds the problem for me. The one positive I had originally found was increasingly overtaken by poor musical choices. Also of note is the relatively lazy way in which your band approaches its instruments. I'm no musical wizard myself, but I know there's more effort to be put into a song than what some of these show. "Insult With Injuries" shows only the most basic of musical understanding, and even the "heavy" riffing is pretty laughable. I hear bits and pieces of double bass drumming, but even there, it's some of the slowest double bass drumming I've heard in recent memory.

All hope isn't lost for your band, I do believe something can be done. But it's going to take some real effort, and a real commitment. Being the concerned friend that I am, I want you guys to do well, and I'll give you the fast track on just how to do that. Hardcore. That's it, one word, the answer to all your problems. Your vocalist has an extremely solid scream, and there's flashes of some heavy riffing; if that's expanded on, I'd wager your band would have a much more complete, and much less clichéd sound. But of course, that's only one man's opinion. I want the best for you guys, I do, so at least think about my suggestion. It's for the best.

A concerned friend.