Griffen Handshake, have just released their latest single, Cancel, and we here at the Send Me Your Ears studio have taken many listens to this superb punk rock track today.
Based in Pittsburgh (US), Griffen Handshake are two brothers making spectacular music together. At just 23 and 20, Millen and Arjun have a fantastic future ahead of them if this track is anything to go by.
Cancel is about ‘cancel culture’ and how we should go about dealing with it. The lyrics are very literal and to the point. The band say; “For our mental health, we do not need to tear ourselves down for what happened in the past or dwell on our insecurities. Rather, it’s important to strive to become better people by understanding the past and our flaws to inspire future positive action.” The song is a rallying cry for those struggling with the anxiety of living in today’s toxic social media world.
Cancel is an absolutely perfect example of 90s punk rock done well. Reminiscent of Sum41, or Offspring (especially the Dexter Holland-like vocals), this is a track that just explodes into your ears with infectious positivity.
Starting with a quick 1,2,3,4 click of the drumsticks, the track grabs you immediately with the relentless and boundless energy of the full band sound. The crunching guitars, the powerful drums, the superb rhythmic guitars in the instrumental section, everything about this track screams quality.
It feels almost as though the boys turned up on the day intending to get their feelings out of their system in two minutes flat, only to emerge from the recording studio serene and calm. This is most definitely a track to invigorate you after a bad day, and no matter how many times you listen, it never gets old.
Cancel made us think of a punked-up version of Barenaked Ladies or They Might Be Giants and with that in mind, it feels like a spot-on song to be used as a theme tune to a sitcom. Everything about it just grabs you. (Did we mention we liked it?!!!)
From a production perspective, we felt that the track could use a small boost around 80-85Hz for some extra thump in the kick drum to fill out the low end, maybe. The production on this track is great and stands up easily with the likes of the bands mentioned above. The volume is steady throughout showing that the compression has been used well and effectively.
Cancel is an absolutely compelling example of just what can be done in the space of two minutes with the right musicians and songwriters all pulling in the same direction. This song is an instant hit in our eyes and we’d strongly urge Griffen Handshake to seek out college radio opportunities, but also, most definitely to pitch this track to music supervisors.