Hanshotfirst – ‘Hanshotfirst’ [Review]

hanshotfirstMusicians have been courting controversy for a long time. Legendary Italian violinist Niccolò Paganini made his name as “The Devil’s Violinist”; Elvis’s hip-swinging performances were the cause of public outcry in the 1950s; Marilyn Manson was blamed for the Columbine High School Massacre; and every week brings a new celeb-mag revelation about Rihanna and whatever she’s wearing (or not wearing) right now. But these guys may have overstepped the line.

Personally, my position on that Star Wars-centric debate is the same as Harrison Ford’s: I don’t know, and I don’t care. But many people do. I’ve met more than a few individuals who would cheerfully wish death upon a band like this. But it’s too late now – and besides, it’s very possible that a quick listen to this EP could help smooth things over.

Post-hardcore is a pretty crowded genre these days – and frankly, it’s one that I became almost immune to many years ago. I can appreciate its validity, and I can understand why people are into it – but in order for a band of this stripe to make me sit up and really pay attention, they have to be on top of their game.

The good news, then, is that Hanshotfirst clearly know what they’re doing. The only downside to this EP for me is that the mix is a bit too trebly; there’s plenty of gut-punching bass, which I love, but my back teeth paid a real price for my high-volume listening. That small gripe aside, this set is seriously sick. 2001 is an ass-tight opening cut; Fire In The Fall is spacious, epic, and intense; Time Is Timeless is relentlessly brutal, boasting much meaty riff action; We Should Have Killed Quaid On Mars deserves praise for its title alone, and features a very tasty bit of soloing; and closer Hard Off The Line turns mellow with acoustic timbres, brilliant lyricism, and absolutely stunning drum work that heralds the arrival of one final world-shaking singalong section. If you listen to Hard Off The Line on the bus, expect plenty of weird looks when you give in and start belting it out.

Overall, Hanshotfirst is a stunner of a debut. Expect big things from these guys; I certainly do.

Links / Listen / Video

Hanshotfirst on Facebook & Twitter.

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Posted on 25 June 2014

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