Red Handed - Wounds Remain (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Red Handed

Wounds Remain (2007)


Of the two "debut compilations" Rivalry Records released today, Red Handed might have served up the lesser of the pair, but it's certainly a unique delivery in the realm of modern hardcore. At least, that's because it's hard to think of many bands that seem to associate themselves with the Bridge 9 type of community and yet play the type of west coast hardcore pioneered by Black Flag and picked up on later by the Nerve Agents, who seemingly serve as another inspiration for Red Handed. But that's exactly what Red Handed do.

And they do it fairly well, might I add. The cohesiveness of Wounds Remain is obviously a little choppy, being it compiles a couple earlier 7-inches together, and covers Black Flag and VOID at intervals that wouldn't sit right with a proper full-length. It's also fairly one-dimensional, and could certainly benefit from a couple more tempo changes or such here or there. But Red Handed manage to hold a firm grasp on punk-based, raspy vocal-driven hardcore, never playing terribly heavy but hardly offering a wussy moment. "Forecast" is one of the best here, as the band sound truly enraged, spitting angst about psychosis as a societal response with a number of percussive changes and manically delivered vocals. In fact, Wounds Remain's second half definitely has the band's top-shelf material.

That Black Flag cover, by the way, is "Room 13," and the band manage to replicate that same intensity and perform a raging, dynamic number, but their cover of VOID's "My Rules" is actually really forgettable -- oh well.

Red Handed's Wounds Remain is nonetheless a very promising release from a band picking up the slack on this type of hardcore. If a proper full-length is on the way, it's definitely no impossibility for them to truly bless the Bay Area punks with some expertly crafted, long-lost sounds.

Wounds Remain

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