Streetlight Manifesto
The Hands That Thieve


4.0
excellent

Review

by Aaron CONTRIBUTOR (110 Reviews)
May 1st, 2013 | 40 replies


Release Date: 04/30/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Well worth the wait. "The Hands That Thieve" is familiar enough to fit in comfortably with the band's catalogue, but has enough creativity to make it feel new and exciting.

After nearly seven years since their last full length album, ska outfit Streetlight Manifesto have made a triumphant return with their newest effort, The Hands That Thieve. Fans rejoiced when the first single released for the album entitled ‘The Three of Us’ was packed with all the goodies they had come to expect from the band. From the blaring trumpets and trombones to an energy level that is unmatched by their peers, the lead single and album opener represents the band at their very best, but not necessarily their most creative.

You see, at first listen it only makes sense that the relentlessly paced lead single or the sing-a-long title track would be initial stand outs. Not only are they two of the most accessible tracks, but they’re sure to please long time fans of the band. However, once you peel away the extra layers, there is much more substance to be found within The Hands That Thieve than can be heard on an initial listen. Rather than just turning up the volume on every track and playing the upbeat ska we’ve come to known and love, there are some unexpected curveballs thrown on their newest effort. Such as the creative fiesta themed, ‘If Only For the Memories’ which blends the band’s signature sound with spicy Central American influences. With peppy horns around every corner, and Kalnoky’s angst-driven vocals, the song is pulled off with what I like to call Streetlight flair. It still sounds like the Streetlight we know and love, but the delicate use of Latin inspired horns is enough to turn anybody into a natural salsa dancer. More creativity oozes out of the bi-polar ‘Ungrateful’ which starts out sounding like a song from a ‘50s radio station before exploding into an unconventional punk song. The band’s ability to seamlessly mix genres like punk and ska is impressive to say the least, but it’s the little details that act as the glue that holds the album together. Kalnoky has a unique voice that seems to match the music perfectly as it’s full of energy, but just as much confidence. As expected, there’s also no shortage of upbeat saxophones or horns, and it comes as no surprise they often steal the show.

Unlike some bands, who sound exciting at first but quickly grow stale, Streetlight Manifesto are a group of musicians with more than just a few tricks up their sleeve. With a run-time of over 50 minutes, The Hands That Thieve finds the band experimenting with new ideas, but never straying from their sharp focus. It’s also worth noting that there is virtually no filler throughout its lengthy runtime, which is an accomplishment all of its own. Although it may be too soon to say if it’s their best work, it certainly makes it a close call. Fans will be pleasantly surprised, while new listeners will be drawn in by the album’s creativity and various musical influences. We can only hope we don’t have to wait another 6 years for a ska anthem-fueled ride like this, but for now I plan to immerse myself in The Hands That Thieve. It has more than enough twists and turns to warrant many returned visits, and it’s a thrill each and every time.



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user ratings (504)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Nathan Flynn CONTRIBUTOR (3)
A moment of silence please...

Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF (5)
What happens when an extraordinary amount of time provided to make an album isn't wasted....

Eli EMERITUS (4.2)
“I felt no pain ‘till I was down and I was told that I was bleeding. And even then I knew I was...

El Hombre de los Arboles (5)
The hype train has officially pulled into the station…...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2013


19920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

originally posted at meltingalbumreviews.wordpress.com

any feedback appreciated.

Digging: Transit - Joyride

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2013


22011 Comments


http://www.sputnikmusic.com/reviews/albums

Digging: Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2013


19920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol. i wasn't even gonna post it here but i figured why not

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2013


22011 Comments


yeah


I really dislike this band though so I'm not even gonna bother listening

pmmets07
May 1st 2013


5900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you literally have to hate fun to dislike streetlight. there is no other explanation

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2013


19920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If only for memories is soooo good

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2013


22011 Comments


In some places I feel like you could cut down on words pretty easily to make your writing more concise and better flowing.

e.g.

After nearly seven years since their last full length album


You could just write

Nearly seven years after their last full length album


and

Fans rejoiced when the first single released for the album entitled ‘The Three of Us’,


maybe write

Fans rejoiced when lead single "The Three of Us"


etc

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2013


22011 Comments


you literally have to hate fun to dislike streetlight. there is no other explanation

Well there obviously is

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2013


19920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks for the feedback fish I will definitely keep that in mind and will prolly edit it again ;)

Cygnatti
May 1st 2013


21353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

hard pos :3

Cygnatti
May 1st 2013


21353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

3 contributers (AND 1 staffer) are covering this album eh?

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2013


19920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well i originally posted it at another site i'm reviewing for (meltingalbumreviews.wordpress.com)

i just posted it here for funsies.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2013


19920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also a 1??? you really are an enigma cyg :3

Cygnatti
May 1st 2013


21353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

haven't heard yet, gonna get mah 3 up n' ready doe ;]

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2013


19920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so you just rated it a 1 to get a rise out of people? lol you better give it at least a 3

Gwynbleiddsfang
May 1st 2013


363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"3 contributers (AND 1 staffer) are covering this album eh?"

and a treeman

Cygnatti
May 1st 2013


21353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

"so you just rated it a 1 to get a rise out of people? lol you better give it at least a 3"

it was an act of civil disobedience. I couldn't find a leak anywhere, or a leak that didn't suck.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2013


19920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol it was overhyped i'll give you that but still an excellent album.



FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2013


9049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I only posted for counterpoint purposes

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2013


19920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what's your point?



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