In ten days one of the legends of the UK's ska punk scene, Random Hand, are sadly calling it a day for the foreseeable future. They have been at the forfront of a scene that has been rammed full of some really amazing bands in the last few years. Bands like Sonic Boom Six, The Skints, Anti-Vigilante and Mouthwash have all taken the scene by storm but have never had the same impact on the fans that Random Hand have. To celebrate their career I am doing a list of (in no particular order) my top ten songs by them.
Tales Of Intervention - Seethin' Is Believing
Tales Of Intervention is the opening song on Seethin' is Believing. Beginning with a fast trombone riff that can really get a crowd moving, it's a song about tearing down the borders that our leaders have put up and accepting everyone no matter where they are from. It has a big break down where everyone shouts "We Are Not Our Leaders" that is very powerful in a live setting.
Anthropology - Change Of Plan
If I am ever asked to think of Random Hand songs that hit a hard punch from the outset, the first I think of is always Anthropology from Change Of Plan. With its metal riffs and police sirens the song has your attention instantly and you’re ready to go insane even before the verse hits and it becomes more of a soft, skanking number. This change in styles throughout the song is something Random Hand have always excelled at.
Scum Triumphant - Change Of Plan
I love Scum Triumphant so much that I had it as the ringtone on my phone for years. This is one of those songs where I am just baffled about how Robin does it; big trombones blasts as well as some pretty fast paced vocal delivery, he must have a hell of a set of lungs. Scum Triumphant is a positive song about being in the underground and coming together as a community to become stronger.
Not A Number - Seethin' Is Believing
Not A Number is a working class anthem about standing up for yourself and your colleagues against "the man". This song moves at a slower pace than most Random Hand songs, but this is effective as it makes you really listen to the meaning of the song rather than getting swept away with the passion and energy like you would on faster songs. The song builds towards a massive finale with a cry of “We’re Not A Number Sitting On A Page, And We’re Not Gonna Settle For The Minimum Wage".
Play Some Ska - Change Of Plan
Play Some Ska was the first Random Hand song I ever heard and I probably listened to it purely because of its name. It’s another perfect live track, with its big, memorable chorus and a melody that you can't not jump to. The song’s about opening your mind and listening to a different style of music and not just assuming you won't like it because it's different. Random Hand would be huge if people actually thought like this.
The Right Reasons - Inhale/Exhale
Starting with one of Robin's most recognisable trombone riffs, The Right Reasons is a song about life in a small punk band. It talks about doing things the right way, by working together as a community and not being in it for the money but for the love of what you're doing. The chorus sums it up perfectly with a cry of "WE DON'T DO THIS TO WIN!"
3 From 6 - Seethin' Is Believing
3 From 6 has a hard intro that makes me want to bang my head before the ska upstrokes and trombone come into play. This track is about trying to stop xenophobia and having to keep fighting the good fight because unfortunately there will always be people fighting for the bad guys.
Devil's Little Guinea Pig - Inhale/Exhale
After a fun intro Devil's Little Guinea Pig starts with a big gang vocal of "You Say" that really grabs your attention. The song then goes along a nice trail of bouncy ska verses and big crunching hardcore choruses. Random Hand have always been the one of the best at blending ska and punk with some thunderous metal riffs.
Bones - Seethin' Is Believing
Bones is another crowd favourite - a good, positive song about living your life to the fullest because you won't be able to when you're dead. No use in having lots of regrets. Musically it does not pull up any trees with its bouncy ska verse and big chorus but there is a fantastic trombone section during the song that breaks it up.
Anger Management - Inhale/Exhale
Anger Management has long been a crowd favourite at Random Hand gigs. The song is about controlling your negative emotions and using them positively. It's a good message for the whole punk rock movement. The song itself has everything I want in my punk rock: it has a great message, a big chorus, harmonies and a massive break down to really lose yourself in.
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