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February 11, 2011

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CAT # PCD040
CREDITS:
Recorded & Mixed by:
Mat Taylor @ Scabby Road Studios
Mastered by:
Troy Glessner @ Spectre Studios
Artwork by: Anthony Webster

SAFE HANDS – Oh The Humanity CD EP [PCD040]

  • Black Spring
  • Suture Self
  • I Told You I Was Ill
  • How To Destroy Everything
  • It's Always Sunny In Novocastria
  • Good Morning Vermin
  • Collapse Collapse Collapse

Newcastle quintet Safe Hands’ debut delivers 7 tracks of their own brand of relentlessly heavy, noisy and dynamic hardcore. The record comes at the end of a turbulent twelve months for Safe Hands and every second of it can be felt as "Oh The Humanity" soars thru moments of triumph and desperation, elation and hopelessness, excitement and regret. Hardcore for fans of: Norma Jean, The Chariot, Poison The Well & Every Time I Die.

REVIEWS:
BLUNT Issue #97
SAFE HANDS - Oh The Humanity
For several years now, Newcastle combo Safe Hands have been a breath of fresh air amidst the myriad soundalike bands currently operating within the hardcore scene. Discordant, vicious and majorly pissed-off, the quintet manage the rare feat of harnessing their vitriol into something more controlled and inspiring than just gluing together a string of breakdowns. If it's reference points you're after, you could start with the forward-thinking progression of an act such as Fear Before The March Of Flames and the apocalyptic din of El Diablo-era Will Haven, as seen in the titanic "I Told You I Was Ill" and gutwrenching "How To Destroy Everything". Coupled with a world-class production, this is one of the finest Australian hardcore releases in some time.
Review by: Rod Yates - Rating: 4/5

PEE #47
SAFE HANDS - Oh The Humanity
Newcastle 5-peice Safe Hands are a band intent on standing to the side while their peers persist in following trends and being a part of the larger crowd. To describe this band’s sound as simply hardcore or screamo or anything else for that matter, is doing the band an injustice. What this band has produced is original and so impressive it stands tall and proud above anything else I have heard locally in such a long, long time. ‘Oh The Humanity’ proudly boasts 7 massive tracks. The first is musical brilliance. ‘Black Spring’ is an antagonising, overly emotional, wall of haunting and pummelling rhythms, complete with flawless production, intense and passionate vocals and a guitar sound that resembles the amazing guitar on Norma Jean’s amazing ‘Bless The Martyr and Kiss The Child’ release. You will find yourself repeating this track alone before allowing the second track ‘Suture Self’ to further indulge you in this bands faultless music. ‘Suture Self’ is a little more up tempo, but still hauntingly dense and incredibly weighty. It has a subtle off beat and rhythm that quickly becomes memorable and addictive whilst still maintaining an element of hardcore chaos and ferocity. Track 3 ‘I Told you I Was Ill’ begins eerily and serene, building to a moderately paced barrage or unspent emotion. There are highlights within this track such as the point around 1.50 minutes where a melodic lead leads into somewhat of a Safe Hands-esque breakdown, as impacting and moving as any memorable Parkway Drive breakdown. While in so many ways Safe Hands are so very original and unique, the band can be compared to the likes of The Chariot, Norma Jean, Everytime I Die, Poison The Well, Dillinger Escape Plan and at their heaviest, even Converge. What makes this band stand out from those mentioned is their ability to solidify an immense and chaotic sound to the point where it is so incredibly listenable. You hear the drastic and unpredictable changes, you hear and adore the melodies and you are taken aback by the sheer emotion and ferocity. You get lost in the bands haunting overtones that as chaotic and ferocious as this band is, you forget that prominent element of their sound. It makes this CD entirely listenable, which some of the previously mentioned bands have failed to do at times. I was both surprised and excited when I heard that these guys had jumped on board the Pee Recs wagon. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was almost certain they would stand out, being a little different to what I had come to expect from the great label. After being glued to this release ever since retrieving it from my mail box, I will go as far as saying ‘Oh The Humanity’ is by far my favourite ever Pee Records release. This release is amazing, this band is amazing and more importantly, they do what they do in such a humble way.
Rating: 100 - Review by: John MEANtime

BlackMunk
SAFE HANDS - Oh The Humanity
Every music scene contains bands that follow, it is almost impossible to avoid. Luckily we in Australia have an Independent Label such as Pee Records who do all the sifting through the countless number of bands and release the ones worth our attention. This time the band is Newcastle quintet Safe Hands, who play honest, loud, and out of control music. ‘Oh The Humanity’ is their latest EP and one not to be taken lightly. For those who like their opening songs to slowly build up to an explosion of thunderous, angry noise, then ‘Black Spring’ is everything you hope for when you push play. An opening song that insures the listener is paying attention. Safe Hands play their music in the style of a less technical Norma Jean, and deliver it with the same hostility as The Chariot. Throughout ‘Oh The Humanity’, Benjamin Louttit’s vocals sound like a duplicate of Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes, fortunately without the lisp. ‘How To Destroy Everything’ and ‘Good Morning Vermin’ are two songs that the Australian heavy music scene will be able to add to the forever evolving playlist. This EP is for those who love their hardcore out of control and show no care for structure. A high point is at the end of ‘Good Morning Vermin’ they are able to capture something very sincere and frail. Safe Hands might not be producing a brand new style of music, but for the Australian Scene it is a style that not many have tried to master. Safe Hands have proven that they are here to entertain those who like their music with more substance. ‘Oh The Humanity’ is an EP that will start their rise up the list of Australia’s most promising young bands. Rating: 8/10

ThePunkSite.com [USA]
SAFE HANDS - Oh The Humanity
Hardcore is a fickle style. I am, by no means, a well versed connoisseur of all the different factors, facets and faces of the style but I’ve listened enough to understand certain things about it. First off, there’s a lot of bullshit hardcore there. It’s there for the masses (masses being subjective of course). They throw some pop in there and heavy breakdowns to try and pass it off as hardcore. Others try to horribly mix in some synth and vo-coders into hardcore. These bands are ruining the real essence of hardcore. Australia’s Safe Hands are the opposite of that. They are hardcore epitomize – and I mean true hardcore. Now, someone more in touch with the minutiae of the genre may disagree with me to some degree; but they’d be hard pressed to ignore the fact that Safe Hands know what the hell they’re doing. Oh The Humanity is heavy, searing stuff. At just over twenty-three minutes, the EP is harsh and corrosive. It plays through with intensity and leaves you wanting more. The record meanders between harsh, angry sections (Suture Self for example) and intricate, soothing, eerily beautiful guitar work (like on Black Spring). It’s a juxtaposition that is needed to keep the album fresh and inventive. Take I Told You I Was Ill. It begins with a minute and half long spoken word introduction and then simply explodes with pummelling drums and coarse vocals. A minute later they pull it all back – the vocals remain at the edge of destruction but the drumming becomes tamed and the guitar work flourishes. It then succumbs into the sound of madness; and not in a bad way. The sheer intensity and emotion embedded into every song seeps out of it. I call it hardcore, but screamo could not another nomenclature used to describe Safe Hands; and just like hardcore, Safe Hands do the term “screamo” justice as well. Insanely well produced, Oh The Humanity begs to be replayed and replayed. As I’ve said, I’m not ultra well versed in the true intricacies of the style (I know more about the bands that bastardize it than the ones who do it justice) and so to find similar comparisons is difficult for me. But I do know that this is good, solid stuff and one I’ll be recommending to my hardcore friends in no time; and you should be too. Review by: Bobby Gorman - Rating: 3/5

No Heroes Mag #9
SAFE HANDS - Oh The Humanity
Safe Hands from Newcastle have always been a live band, their amazing live show makes up for their forgetable name and lack of solid release. Now comes Oh The Humanity and it's finally possible to enjoy Safe Hands in your bedroom without holding a house show and risking breaking all your Batman collectables. Oh The Humanity is the sort of technical metalcore you expect of bands like Norma Jean, with a little more doom and a little more rock and roll groove to make this something special. As the EP progresses, the songs get catchier and more intense, this release rewards multiple listens and will become a favourite for those who enjoy bands like The Chariot, Poison The Well and Underoath. A cracking debut release to be sure.
Rating: 4/5 - Review by: Oliver Cation

Lights Go Out zine #13 [UK]
SAFE HANDS - Oh The Humanity
Crushing hardcore punk from Australia. After opening with a gruff vocal intro it all explodes and comes blasting at your face grabbing hold and doesn’t dare let go. It’s brutal, epic and fucking top notch shit! This is just the right kind of hardcore that goes down well with me. The riffs are heavy in just the right way as are the vocals. My pick of the tracks would be “Good Morning Vermin” and “Suture Self”. Fans of bands like Never Again, Ruiner, Everytime I Die and Paint It Black should check Safe Hands out. This is a really honest hardcore record that needs to be played, and played fucking load. I can’t get enough of this, and you should be getting this record for sure! Review by: Mr. T

AsIce E-zine [Netherlands]
SAFE HANDS - Oh The Humanity
The biography tells us “for fans of Norma Jean”. Norma Jean has one album entitled ‘O’God the Aftermath’ so the step to ‘Oh God the Humanity’ is not a far leap. From Newcastle, Safe Hands is trying to capture the world with this seven-song debut. One good thing is the production; it’s as rough as the inlands of Australia are. The songs sound just as if Norma Jean or Every Time I Die have written them. The biography states that Safe Hands does something different... well although the songs are quite enervating, I don't see they are doing anything special. That doesn't imply that "How to Destroy Everything" and “It’s Always Sunny In Novocastria” don't have the catchy riffs Every Time I Die had in their chaotic early days. Dizzy handles the vocals and his painful screams are the starting point of the energy flow in the music. The seven-song EP ends with his words “Collapse Collapse Collapse” (also the song title). I wonder if Safe Hands will collapse after this start or will rise in the metalcore circus and follow their Australian fellows of Parkway Drive.
Review by: Maurice - Rating: 3.5/5

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