Armored Saint - Win Hands Down

Armored Saint Win Hands Down cover
Armored Saint
Win Hands Down
Metal Blade Records
Armored Saint was lucky enough to have one John Bush behind the mic, the only Bush I could give a fuck about anyway! Back in the day the man almost got the spot to sing in Metallica during their heyday and after the original run of Armored Saint ended with him joining Anthrax, having left behind a legacy of four pretty damn cool albums it was a real “hit” for classic heavy metal. The band returned several years later, with a couple albums that were rather misguided but did have a good number of decent songs but mostly survived due to their energetic performances.
“Win Hands Down” is the third post reunion album and it’s probably the closest thing to the earlier albums. While it offers an up-to-date sound production and it doesn’t sound apologetic about trying to be current, the character of the band actually bursts through the seams and clearly shows. Feeling like a continuation of the “Symbol” era, it marries the best of then and now into a potent mix.
“Win Hands Down”, well “wins hands down” as it could have easily been in “Symbol” and be one of the finest songs… there…
“Mess” is slower and darker but its latter part unleashes the payload and hits hard narrowly missing bull’s-eye.
“An Exercise in Debauchery” is a bit funkier and while its start isn’t as promising as soon as the main riff begins and JB belts out the chorus, it hits the sweet spot. The weirdness continues with a disjointed lead/solo section that’s the least bit unusual… But overall it’s not bad at all…
“Muscle Memory” is probably a little less memorable, although not bad per ce. It’s probably what helped the band deliver this… Can they deliver??? Yabetchya!
“That was Then, Way Back When” is quicker and more modern and takes a snipe at the modern “facebook”-like mentality… it’s more in tune with the latest stuff and very rhythmical but not bad at all…
“With a Full Head of Steam” wins hands down the weirdest title award… it sounds like a locomotive coming your way quite fast too… not exactly the strongest song of the bunch but it’s riff is neat.
“In an Instant” mixes tempos and it’s interesting… in that respect. With the Saints usually overbearing style it’s nice to occasionally slow down, although that doesn’t mean that the number is wimpy in any way… it just probably drags a bit longer than it should have though.
“Dive” is probably completely melancholic and bittersweet and creates an antithesis with most other songs on the record. Fantastic solo as well… Diving off the deep end… heh.
Last but not least, “Up Yours” really is a middle finger to all people who bust your balls… and is some good fun to conclude the album.
Various different configurations include a different mix of “Dive” and a second disk, a DVD with the complete KIT performance from a couple of years ago plus some more videos from the making of the album and a couple of videos. Not bad at all to pick up that version…
Probably the album people have been waiting since the early 90s… from the Saints, who deliver quite consistently this time…