Cruel Hand's state of Maine isn't as renowned for muscle-bound hardcore as the nearby meccas of New York or Boston, but this quintet is as well-versed in burly riffs and bark-along anthems as its neighbors. Accordingly, the band's live shows are aggressive affairs, with frontman Chris Linkovich often diving headlong into and onto the crowd. But Cruel Hand aren't blind Youth Crew disciples, either. Their onslaught comes tempered with thrash guitar solos and modern rock rumblings; their hardcore heft is there to support meaty hooks. Like-minded crossover bruisers Blind Justice and Criminal Instinct join this tour. Wilmington's Society Sucker opens the melee.
—Bryan C. Reed