Through the Dark. LP/CD
Ruin Nation Records • BOLLOX 022
LP • Retail: Euro 8.00 CD • Retail: Euro 8.00
Upon returning from a European tour late in 2006, Ballast promptly broke up. 3/5th of the band would continue to play together and soon would form PREYING HANDS including new members whose previous efforts included Montreal bands Snake Master, Desperate Living and Last Days. The sound seamlessly blends an odd combination of crust, melodic hardcore and a touch of pop punk. The powerful vocals, that lyrically combine the personal with the political, complete an intense picture. Production was handled on this debut effort by Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire, weird...) at the Pines and mastered at Mammoth Sound by Dan Randall (Limp Wrist, Government Warning).
Split Release with: Trujaca Fala, Contraszt! and Fight For Your Mind
" This ........Montreal band sounds like Annie from This Is My Fist singing for Strike Anywhere. Those two flavors go together like chicken and waffles. Annie, if you’re reading this, I just called you a waffle. You’re a waffle! Preying Hands’ singer is a woman with a scratchy voice who manages to make lyrics like “They breed their hate/The bloodthirsty citizenry, hiding behind birthright” come out catchy. The music is gritty, fast, and catchy; a mix of ‘90s skate punk and posi-core with metal leads. My one gripe is that they never tinker with the formula, and the songs blend together a few tracks in, but I’ve still played this CD three times today. More waffles, please!" - RAZORCAKE #52.
"A piece of information that passed by me unnoticed is that Ballast is no more. This happened when they returned home to Canada after their European tour in 2006, so it was some time ago and is probably not news to anyone else though. The reason I’m talking about Ballast here in this review is because not all wanted to quit, so three out of five members decided to recruit new muscle and start Preying Hands instead – and now their debut has been landed.
Musically I find this to be very similar to Ballast, which leads me to believe that it was the people that did the most song writing in Ballast that started Preying Hands. That Spoke remained on vocals isn’t exactly making this comparison very far fetched either as she has a great voice that’s easily recognizable with the raspy and melodic delivery. Musically they offer speedy punk rock that tends to lean towards hardcore, and not the other way around too often as was the case with Ballast, with a melodic nerve passing through all tracks. I sense some hints of melodic 90’s hardcore as well (Australian Blitz Babies anyone, or is that just me being a victim of comparing female fronted bands?), but just the right amount that’s not too much.
The material on this LP is quite evenly balanced and while it as a whole holds up as a solid record it’s also a weakness as there are tracks that goes by without grabbing my attention too much, but then there are stuff like “Clues”, “Know don’t say” and “Sinking” that are impossible not to get sucked into. The overall impression is that that there could have been a few more peaks, but the ones that do exist are good enough to make it an album to recommend for those into speedy and melodic (hardcore) punk rock.
Krogh " – ATTACK FANZINE 2010
" Mit Contraszt! Aus Köln ist oben nur eines der fünf beteiligten Labels genannt, die zusammen den Release dieser kanadischen Band stemmen. Gleichermaßen beteiligt sind Ruin Nation aus Bremen, Fight for your Mind aus Frankreich, Trujaca Fala aus Polen und Inimical aus Seattle, USA. Solche Split-Releases sind eine alte Tradition in der D.I.Y – und Crust-Szene, und gerade in Zeiten, da es auch für kleine Labels immer schwieriger wird, ist diese Art der Coop-Releases sicher eine smarte Sache. PREYING HANDS sind die Nachfolgeband von BALLAST, die sich 2006 auflösten und zu 3/5 unter neuem Namen weitermachten. „Through the dark“, ihr von Mark Lawson produziertes Album, ist eine höchst angenehme Angelegenheit: Ich mag raue, dunkle Frauenstimmen ja sowieso, und in Kombination mit treibendem, druckvollem, melodiösen Hardcore-Punk ist das eine unschlagbare Sache. PREYING HANDS klingen schwer nach einer Mischung aus DAG NASTY, DOVER, GITS, BAMBIX, sind musikalisch allerdings etwas giftiger, und das gefällt. Sehr schön auch die Ausstattung mit Klapp-booklet aus Recycling-Pappe. (8) Joachim Hiller " - OX-FANZINE #89 "
"This starts off strong, with a catchy ripper that is followed by a couple well-executed mid-tempo melodic numbers that set the tone for the rest of the album. As a whole, we have a melodic and intense record that certainly holds up start to finish, showing off some well-written songs with a seamless flow throughout. The music is good, again very melodic but quite awesome with a standout vocalist who was made to be in this band. (I believe it’s the woman from BALLAST, as this is three-fifths of that band.) These elements together produce a solid project, executed well, but it does grow a bit tired. I don’t dig this sound too much so it’s tough to really analyze, but I hear a band that is similar to THIS IS MY FIST and, if they’re lucky, probably as much fun to see live." - MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL #316.