Whilst only being active a handful of years, Savage Hands have been building on their blend of heavy groove and melodic rock. After teasing their debut full length for a while, ‘The Truth In Your Eyes’ sees the group push their sound further.
Opening with a lurching riff and a sneaking synth lead, ‘Memory’ pumps with a snappy energy. Supported by vocalist Mike Garrow‘s gritty yet clean delivery and boasting a radio-friendly chorus, the track gives an accessible lead into the record’s tone.
Touching on groove riffs and a punchy structure, ‘Braindead’ allows the quintet to jump into a moodier soundscape, with ethereal pads and juddering guitars trading off one another. As the song reaches its breakdown, the group show a unique take on the often used breakdown to push the cut towards an abrupt coda.
Using the opening tracks as a blueprint, the record continues on with this tonal formula. This isn’t to say that the record dips in quality, as it works very well for the group and the tracks do inject various left turns, as shown with the use of rapid-fire vocals and stuttering guitars found in ‘Blue’, or the gang vocals peppered chorus of ‘Demon’.
Changing the tone with ‘Rotten Soul’, shoegaze inspired finger-picking supports intimate verses before exploding into stomping groove riffs and growls. Whilst the track attempts to move out of their comfort zone, ultimately the track falls flat compared with the solid first half of the record.
Expanding on the tone shift shown previously, ‘Washed Away’ takes acoustic chords and sparse instrumentation to create a tense and crowd pleasing track; complete with a stadium-ready chorus, the track will surely become a fan favourite.
Switching things up for ‘Lonely’, the group delve into a plethora of unnerving synths, crunching guitars, and rabid screams to push the record further. A welcome change of pace, the track still transitions smoothly into the latter half of the album.
After a few mis-steps in the middle of the record, Savage Hands move back to their core sound with enough tweaks to keep the energy at a steady pace, with ‘Never Change’ showing a choppy chorus, and ‘Crazy’ injecting a jagged breakdown towards its conclusion.
Ultimately, ‘The Truth In Your Eyes’ is a debut that plays it relatively safe, but with some finesse, Savage Hands have certainly got the potential brewing to create a truly impressive follow-up.