I didn’t think it would be possible for a band to have an old familiar sound while at the same time maintaining a newness. We’ll Go Machete achieve just that with their album Strong Drunk Hands. This album provides something that is becoming harder to find. It’s straight rock with no gimmicks. While not quite as aggressive as noise rock acts like The Jesus Lizard, We’ll Go Machete comes close with Strong Drunk Hands. Almost like a nicer cousin. The sound on Strong Drunk Hands has a throwback sound to 90’s acts like Quicksand or Drive Like Jehu and maybe a hint of Fugazi.
Right out of the gate We’ll Go Machete starts off strong with the first track “DM Barringer“. It has some nice drum work tied to some catchy guitar riffs. Whereas “Robber Baron” and “So Long Flatfoot” have some fast bass lines with hypnotic guitar and drums that sit up front. The song “Hayward” goes for the shorter/faster rock song with a melodic groove and beat.
The quality of Strong Drunk Hands is one of the highlights of the album and something I want to point out. It is well produced and the sound is very balanced. You can easily hear all the instruments. The drums are not buried with the bass. The vocals do not bleed into the guitars. It’s a great change of pace to have a rock album this clear.
If I was to ding We’ll Go Machete for anything on this album, and trust me it’s only a minor thing, one would be on the vocals. Paul Warner’s vocal work is by no means bad but there isn’t much range to it. The vocals throughout the whole album just stay the same. Even when Paul is screaming, their just isn’t much power behind it. The vocal style is also almost identical on every track. Because of this, to me, it kind of flattens the album a little.
Strong Drunk Hands is a solid rock album. If you’re a fan of bands like Quicksand, Fugazi or Drive Like Jehu you’ll dig We’ll Go Machete. Or if you are craving some straight up rock music pick up Strong Drunk Hands. You’ll enjoy it.