July EP Reviews — Stone Hand & Death Grips

A bit of a mish-mashy article coming your way with this one; but I thought it an interesting idea t tackle two recently released EPs this way.

As some of you may know already, I’ve been struggling more than usual this year to find more top-quality EPs to enjoy and review in 2022; I don’t know quite what it is, but this musical year just seems to be focusing on albums more than anything.

Either way, this dialema had been somewhat remedied with my article going through six additional EPs , which you can read about here.

Fortunately, this week alone has managed to bring forth two more EPs for me to sink my claws into. And while the artists are unrelated (one being the local BN1 hardcore group Stone Hand, and the other being experimental outfit Death Grips), I thought that reviewing these two EPs in one article presented a good reflection of who you can either do more with less, or..well…less with less.

So without further ado, let’s get into these two EPs, starting with the latest project from Stone Hand.

Stone Hand — Fear the Ones Who Scream the Loudest

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

Starting off with a band that is much less known than Death Grips, but no less exciting for myself personally, we have Stone Hand. I had discovered the Brighton-based hardcore group back when the year of 2020 was still afresh.

To be more specific, their debut album Carcosa, was the third project I had reviewed for that entire year. Shortly following the release of that very album, I was able to listen to the whole thing back to back live at a performance in Brighton’s Cowley Club, supported by a wide array of other amazing acts.

Two and a half years later, we have the next project to come from Stone Hand; this time, in the form of an EP. Titled Fear the Ones Who Scream the Loudest, I was initially anxious about the EP’s listing of three tracks. Throughout this year, shorter EPs have definitely seemed like more of a trend. but for the most part, a lot of them just felt like too brief of an experience. Fortunately however, that wasn’t the case with this latest project from Stone Hand.

After setting the tone the night before with a music video release for their track “Possessive Thoughts”, I already had a faint idea of ho this EP would sound, and also recognised straight away that their sound and production quality had evolved as well. In fact, there were elements of their musicality that reminded me a little of Slayer.

But despite already having heard tidbits of this track, which stands as the final cut from the three-track EP, it was fair to say that the entire experience felt generous and tied together nicely from track to track. It was definitely what an EP should feel like, and stands as an example of how a band can do so much with a more condensed list of tracks.

Death Grips — Live from Death Valley

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for the latest Death Grips project. Following the groups 2018 album Year Of The Snitch, their last studio album, and one that served as a marking point of their experimental prowess, I had been waiting patiently for another breakout project. But as the years went on, that hope began to feel less and less likely to be a reality.

When I first saw that this Death Grips project was going to be released, however, my hopes were slightly better fuelled. Even if it was an EP, I was almost certain that it was going to be another masterpiece. But what I wasn’t expecting was a measly two tracks.

I genuinely feel torn as to whether this is even an EP or just a glorified single release, as spotify and Apple Music are giving two different viewpoints here. I honestly wasn’t even sure if it was worth reviewing this project at all. I reckoned that tacking it on to an article like this would’ve been the only possible way for me to make it look like I was saying enough about the project (I apologise to Stone Hand in advance; I genuinely do love their EP).

This one, however, left me feeling as if Death Grips had still not released anything at all since Year Of The Snitch. My hope’s last line of defence would be that this could potentially be the heralding project for something bigger. However, I wouldn’t be betting money on that anytime soon.

I appreciate it’s been a bit more of a chaotic article than usual, so I thank you if you have made it this far. But while you’re here, I might as well tack on one more thing.

As I’m writing this article, my Medium page currently has a whopping 88 followers (just 12 away from hitting the big 100)!

So firstly, I would love to thank each and every one of you who had decided to follow this page. It really does feel surreal to me that there’s so many people vibing with this page.

Secondly, I would love to reach a point where I could potentially start making some money on the side while doing what I love most (lord knows I need that right now). So if you’re able to, I would wholeheartedly appreciate any spread-of-word at all; not just for myself, but for all the amazing artists who thoroughly deserve more listens (like Stone Hand, for example).

Thank you guys so much again for all of your support. Keep your eyes peeled for all kinds of music reviews coming your way towards the end of the year.

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Joe Boothby

Joe Boothby

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.