Published Oct 24, 2018The most recent project to come out of Modern Baseball's hiatus is drummer Sean Huber's release with social club Steady Hands. Although Huber has been playing with this strong roster of Philadelphia musicians — William Lindsay, George Legatos, Andrew Kirnan and Richard Straub — since 2012, Truth in Comedy is Steady Hands' first proper release.
Huber has taken centre stage in this outfit, as opposed to sitting behind the drum kit with Modern Baseball. On Truth In Comedy, Huber proves that he's a capable leader, but with every debut comes room for improvement. The fun and catchy album starts strong with "40x," a track rich with ska undertones.
While Truth In Comedy clings tight to its Americana-punk, single "Indifferent Belushi" incorporates a synth, "Drop D and Dance Beats" begins with an organ, a horn solos in the background of "Saint Lucas" and "Better Days" is carried by a pianist. Each track has its own identifiable piece of disobedience, as Steady Hands attempt to complicate our expectations.
This album deserves praise for its composition and dedication to simple and relatable storytelling, but at times it feels too metronomic. Each song is almost too clean, too polished and too dedicated to the time signature — which ultimately feels contradictory to punk. At the halfway mark, Truth In Comedy can get a bit boring as it seemingly gets stuck in a mechanical beat.
When you're coming from a band like Modern Baseball, the expectations are high. While Huber should undeniably continue on with Steady Hands, there is an opportunity to build on the foundation that has been laid with Truth In Comedy. (Lame-O Records)