Safe Hands are a little secret from Newcastle, NSW who soon will most likely, not be such a well kept one. Ten years in the local regional scene has seemed to build up quite fanbase with just short of 4000 fans on their facebook page alone. This has then seen them lucky enough to share the stage with Converge, Norma Jean, La Dispute and Rolo Tomassi in the last few years.
Their latest album Tie Your Soul To Mine which is out September 23rd via Lost Boy Records gave us chills to the bone, with the difficult topic of violence within the macho mindframe of some within the hardcore scene. Safe Hands were once a member within that cocky and aggressive part of what their music and shows were. Within this album we hear them grow, we hear them mature and we hear them soften, although in saying that, they’re using their words to fight and not their actions.
Safe Hands seem to be a mix between La Dispute, Hotel Books, Emarosa and The Hotelier, but with an aussie accent, which you just know from that list is going to be one emotive, soul hitting song after the other. Essentially that’s what this is, although possibly for more of an aquired taste of vocals.
The first track The Colesium 1921, was personally felt as an odd choice for an intro track as it didn’t really feel to prepare the listener for the rest of the album, giving mixed thoughts and feelings. It was a very dissonant and unsettling track; possibly this is what they were going for, but thankfully the next song Traffic Island Wreath came in straight away with the head bopping guitar melody one wants on a rainy day, to start the fire within your soul.
Safe Hands seem to beautifully have a balance of aggressive vocals, spoken word, dingey guitars and a random accordion outro in track 5; Small Fortune.
Whilst listening to this album we were just kind of waiting… waiting for something to just change the repetitiveness and monotonous sequence that each song was bringing. Born In The Last Shower slightly broke apart, with a more melodic and groovy beat, where the lyrics are actually comprehensible, this is definitely one of the best tracks.
The Pinch gives a bit of an old school Dance Gavin Dance vibe at first with a whole bunch of instruments being thrown together to somehow form a sustaining melody and beat, with a fistful of vocals being chucked straight into your ear holes from 00:01.
The last track Wagtails is very different from the rest of the album, an acoustic ballad, with the time signature dropped, and a xylophone following for part of the vocal line within the chorus, building up into a full band composition. It’s a nice contrast to end the album with.
This album is good, it’s not a revelation, for us anyhow. In saying that though, this band are finding their footing, they are developing and i’m sure that their fans old and new will appreciate this album to be a stepping stone to what the band was, and what the band will be- it’s only up from here.