Whilst previous releases have represented a solo project, with this effort Steady Hands have blossomed into a full band, and have done so in an assured and confident fashion. Their style is most easily described as folk punk and title track ‘Tropical Depression’ will immediately bring to mind the sharp, spikey attitude of Andrew Jackson Jihad, albeit combined with the harmonic swagger of The Lawrence Arms.
Whilst their sound would feel at home at any basement show or grimy pub backroom, it also has that “big” feel. You can picture them on larger stages in the same way as contemporaries such as The Smith Street Band, where they would make fools of other more self–indulgent and overrated contemporaries such as Mumford and Sons. Not that I have anything against that band. Ahem.
‘Grace’ is a fast paced number and probably the heaviest track on the EP but also the least interesting, and it is overshadowed by the other three songs. Next comes the lovely and lilting ‘Won’t Let You’ which tells of a longing for someone across an expanse of ocean in a rather less tongue-in-cheek fashion than Rivers Cuomo offered us in ‘Across The Sea’.
‘You Don’t Know’ has its namesake amongst Brand New’s greatest hits, and actually sounds rather like something that Jessie Lacey himself could have penned. The lyrics are poetically descriptive and carry an ongoing narrative through the track, and the chorus is big and booming with a raw edge to it.
I don’t think the Modern Baseball connection should be read into any further than as a seal of quality here. This isn’t “for fans of Modern Baseball” – it’s very much its own animal and sees Sean step from behind the tubs and enjoy leading his motley crew on a very different but still hugely enjoyable adventure.
‘Tropical Depression’ EP by Steady Hands is released on 28th July on Lame-O Records.
Words by Alex Phelan (@listen_to_alex)