Handheld Handheld

Handheld have been around for a pretty long time and haven’t given up on playing the music they love, even though its heyday has long since passed. Their music is short, to-the-point, poppy skate punk (think Belvedere without the metal influence), and they do it well. "Unscathed” is a prime example of the genre: back-up "whoas” are used unsparingly, the drums drive the song forward in an almost -bouncy way and the vocals are just scratchy enough to give the song a certain edge. It’s a testament to the band’s talent that even the mandatory acoustic number and the pseudo-political-heavy-angry-punk-throwback songs don’t sound contrived. This whole record reminds of the mid-’90s Epitaph stable of bands, and while the style Handheld play hasn’t evolved much beyond that, it has been refined to the purest form of the genre. (Year of the Sun)