The seven-piece folk-punk powerhouse Steady Hands began as a folk troubadour side-project for Sean Huber, drummer of Modern Baseball. Inspired by Billy Bragg, Springsteen, Frank Turner and other classic punk influenced singer-songwriters, Huber began thrashing his way through Philadelphia bars and basements since 2012. Driven by an energy inconceivable to most, Huber committed every second of down time to life on the road with Steady Hands, creating his own name across the US and UK.
With four EP’s released over their tenure, Steady Hands return with ‘Rude Boys of Bar Rock’, a compilation encompassing their previous work put down on wax for the first time, showing a journey and progression from the back bars of 2012 to a band that really know who they are and what they are doing.
Album opener ‘Under The Rug’ is the only completely new cut on offer, but showcases a continued heart-on-sleeve, never-say-die attitude synonymous with Steady Hands career to date. A powerful, driven punk rock, this could be a precursor of what is to come from Steady Hands.
‘Not Many of us Left’ has received an overhaul here as well, with a Nebraska-esque re-record especially for ‘Rude Boys…’ and it’s a great move that has helped to tie any loose ends left by their debut EP. This is a reimagined and repackaged collection that really makes these songs sound as good as they ever have. From ‘The Libertines’ to ‘Fragile Heart’ to the title track from Steady Hands last EP, ‘Tropical Depression’, everything sounds as good as ever.
As great as it is to have this collection released on vinyl for the first time, it does beg the question when will there be a debut album? With an ever growing fanbase and a sound that has taken a life of its own, there seems like no better time to cement a place among the greats. Hopefully Steady Hands can take this opportunity and strike while the wax is hot.
‘Rude Boys of Bar Rock’ by Steady Hands is released on December 9th on Lame-O Records.
Words by Jay Harrison (@Just_Jay_89)