[REVIEW] A Better Hand – Cheap Smokes & Champagne

Minneapolis pop-punkers debut with E.P “Cheap Smokes & Champagne” out Friday 26th February on Mutant League Records


Produced by Seth Henderson at ABG Recording (State Champs, Knuckle Puck), “Cheap Smokes and Champagne” includes 5 frenetic new tracks. It is fair to say the band have been through some changes over the past few years but look set to continue as a 3 piece and this E.P is the first offering from members Jordon Salgado (Vocals), Taylor Allen (Drums) and Kyle Kriegshauser (Bass). The tracks offer a slice of adolescence and energy and are filled with hooky vocal melodies and guitar lines. Opener and second single ‘Silhouettes’ really peaks the ear with its simple but catchy guitar and punchy vocals and is a great start. Stand out track ‘Sleep With The Lights On’ raises the bar with all members on top of their game. The chorus will stay in your head for days and is a certified summer banger. First single ‘Wrong One’ channels early ‘Issues’ in its sound with syncopated guitar riffs and over-processed vocals. The core subject of relationship loss from the first two tracks is switched up here as realisation sets in that life moves on.  E.P closers ‘Autumn Leigh’ and ‘Get It Right’ show a more thoughtful and emotional side to A Better Hand and continue this theme further.  Each track stands out on his own and it is clear that the band have put thought into how the E.P flows with its theme from loss to growth.

Overall, a varied collection of songs that will certainly find their place when the sun makes an appearance, and a beer is in the hand. “Cheap Smokes & Champagne” is a great debut and shows a maturity of song writing that is not always present in this genre. Released tomorrow, please click here to pre-save the E.P.

Words by Singh Lottay.

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