Armored Saint - Official Website

Win Hands Down

United States Country of Origin: United States

2. Mess
3. An Exercise In Debauchery
4. Muscle Memory
5. That Was Then, Way Back When
6. With A Head Full Of Steam
7. In An Instant
8. Dive
9. Up Yours

Review by Adam M on June 5, 2015.

Being highly familiar with some older recordings of this band like Symbol of Salvation, I was excited to hear another album from this John Bush-led incarnation. I’m not disappointed in the slightest with this new version that contains a huge modern production at the forefront. This allows the vocals of Bush to meld nicely with the crisp guitar riffs.

In terms of impact, Win Hands Down is strong in this area because of an absolutely stellar start. The title track here is easily one of the highlight songs of the year. While there are many other strong cuts, it’s this song that is the centerpiece here. Injected within every moment of this disc is a strong sense of fun that brightens up the package by a large margin. For a veteran band, this is one of the liveliest recordings I’ve heard in some time. Even at the times when the songs aren’t the most memorable, the band is constantly thriving to make this record pack a punch. Some of the moments that have an impact include Muscle Memory and In an Instant. The latter contains a number of twists and turns and makes for a highlight on the later portions of Win Hands Down. There are many strong moments on this disc, but inconsistency is probably its biggest issue. However, this is a small issue that can be refined in future material. Simply hearing John Bush on top of these catchy tracks is enough to bring out the head-banger in anyone. Add a pristine production job to the mix and you’re left with an album that combines modernity with an old school sound incredibly effectively.

It’s also nice to have two separate projects in Armored Saint and Anthrax at this moment. This leaves a lot of variety for people that enjoy the work of Bush.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10