CRUEL HAND - Lock & Key

Cruel Hand - Lock & Key

10 songs
21:05 minutes
***** ***
Bridge Nine


Two years ago, the debut Prying Eyes by old school hardcore band Cruel Hand left already a fairly good impression, and as expected, the guys from Maine don’t act any less agile on its follow-up Lock & Key.

Just like before, the band concentrates their energy on short tracks that average two minutes, which makes for an overall short running time. Despite the undeniable qualities, one has to wonder why this EP-length album is sold at the price of a regular CD.

The quintet offers fat riffs, amazing brutality and a lot of groove. Their harder material reminds me of Biohazard and Madball, but whenever Cruel Hand switch down a gear, I recognise parallels to early Suicidal Tendencies. They may not be overly original, but Lock & Key contains exactly what you would expect from this band.

There are no complaints about technical prowess and songwriting skills, so that Cruel Hand can be considered one of the more promising hardcore acts from the USA. The only drawbacks are the short length and the impression that there hasn’t been that much development since the debut. Hardcore purists shouldn’t be bothered by this though.

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