Philadelphia, PA's Ladder Devils is back with their first proper LP entitled Clean Hands. Following up 2012's Nowhere Plans, the band expands upon their heavy, noise rock sound. I first saw these guys open up for Young Widows at Kung Fu Necktie a couple years back, and I was taken by the band's stage presence and wall of sound. Opener "Remember The Tooth" begins with a mid tempo drum beat and a refraining semi bluesy guitar riff. Once the full band kicks in there is essentially not much letting up over the next 30 minutes. Bassist/Vocalist Matt Leo mainly sticks to the throaty shouts heard on earlier material, but sprinkles tracks with some dirty melodic wails that are really catchy. Leo's bass tone is as massive on record as it is live, and that is compliments of Gradwell House Studios. The overall quality of songwriting is the tightest that Ladder Devils have ever exhibited, and that is partly due to how long they spent crafting these tracks. While digging around for information, it seems the band sat on a majority of material while breaking in a new drummer.

The twin guitar attack of Tim Leo and Eric Haag really makes the record for me. Their guitar tones are so chunky and mid heavy, there's no chance of their riffs being lost in the mix. Haag's backing vocals help accentuate Leo's yells throughout the record and remind me of Frodus. Drummer Mike Howard provides a solid backbeat throughout the record, never really being the focal point but serving the songs well. The material present is really groove heavy and reminiscent of older Young Widows records. Overall, Clean Hands is a solid debut LP that should take these guys to the next level. I look forward to hearing these tunes live at some point in the near future. Take a listen below and preorder the vinyl via Brutal Panda Records.