1. Win Hands Down
3. An Exercise in Debauchery
4. Muscle Memory
5. That Was Then, Way Back When
6. With a Full Head of Steam
7. In an Instant
9. Up Yours
I started this review weeks ago and it’s gone nowhere. Why? I think I’ve been wrestling with burn out and writer’s block but, honestly, I don’t have much to say about Armored Saint in general. My opinion of the band is that they are fine, but not one of my favorites. Having said that, I’ve always though Symbol of Salvation was excellent. More recently, I was really disappointed with La Raza. It wasn’t bad, but I thought it was bland, boring and totally forgettable. Fortunately, Win Hands Down doesn’t suffer from the same sense of banality. With only nine tracks, the album is short and to the punch. John Bush’s voice is just as great as ever and the riffs and solos really have a classic metal feel to them.
As someone who seemingly has less and less time on his hands to listen to music, I’m actually really thankful this album comes in at only 9 tracks. It always seems like such a daunting tasks to get through any album that has more than 12 tracks. Keep it between 9-12 songs and you’re good. Anything else, you’re just putting out filler.
Okay, so that was my rant on filler tracks but luckily Win Hands Down doesn’t ever have that problem. Five years in between album’s did the band some good because there’s not a single throwaway songs here. Ultimately, I guess my thoughts on this album are the same as my thoughts on the band — this is an enjoyable and solid release that deserves no real criticism but no high praise either. That’s not to say this album isn’t worth checking out though as it’s way better than La Raza.
Highlights: “Win Hands Down”, “Mess”, “Muscle Memory”, “Dive”