Film Interview: Cruel Hand Honors Evolution & Tradition
Spawned in the lethargic backwoods of The Pine Tree State, Portland, Maine’s Cruel Hand play an eclectic blend of styles that embodies anything but the serenity of their surroundings.

Cruel Hand has been a great influence on the hardcore landscape for the last nine years. Grave Goods Society was fortunate enough to coordinate an interview while they were mid-tour alongside 90s hardcore-punk band H2O.

Prior to their performance at The Constellation Room in Santa Ana, California we spent the afternoon at one of their friend's homes in the nearby city of Long Beach.

In light of the band's looming 10 year anniversary, the feature recaps the progression from their 2007 debut album "Without A Pulse" to their most recent work "The Negatives" released in 2014 on independent label Hopeless Records (some of the label's noteworthy current acts include Guttermouth, New Found Glory, and Taking Back Sunday).

The pursuit of constant growth and the evolution of Cruel Hand's sound is a persistent and apparent value. It is one that has kept the band refreshed, pushing onward amidst the typically short-lived careers of their contemporaries.

I want to grow. That’s why I’m in a band and play music. I don’t think there should be a ceiling on what you do; I think you should be able to play in front of anybody on any stage.
— Chris Linkovich, Cruel Hand

One of the biggest challenges for musicians is balancing the dichotomy of maintaining their original sound and progression through growth and adaptation.

Cruel Hand has had the right mix of both through its first decade of life. From its early days conveying sounds associated with the Youth Crew era and New York Hardcore to the integration of Thrash and Metal in its formative years, and onto the latest exploration of new vocal patterns and pop-punk riffs apparent in "The Negatives," Cruel Hand has managed to satisfy relevancy on its own terms through controlled pace and a passion for development.

Whether you prefer the crushing aggression built up inside of their sophomore album "Prying Eyes" or the groove and attitude that embellished "Lock & Key," one thing is certain. Cruel Hand is a group that will become iconic for their courage to explore the depths of musical evolution without ever slouching when it comes to keeping its hand on the pulse of the hardcore community.

Get in the discussion in the comments section below. What is your favorite Cruel Hand release? What are your views on bands that explore different sounds album to album? Has it been a deal breaker for you in the past? If so, why?

The essence of the topic is this. What do you prefer: musicians who adhere to one sound, offering consistency towards a listener's established expectations, or musicians who explore and experiment with their sound profile, sometimes implying strong shifts or crossover into different genres?

Check out Cruel Hand on Facebook and Instagram and stay up to date with the band's latest news, releases, and schedule of events.

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