Presumably named after the Smoke or Fire song from 2007’s This Sinking Ship, Irish Handcuffs play an extremely melodic brand of punk that wouldn’t be out of place on an early 2000’s Warped Tour line up. The energy is high, the songs are short, the hooks are memorable, the “whoas” are all in the right places… the grasp that Irish Handcuffs has on the genre is impressive. Sounding like seasoned players who have been together for years, Irish Handcuffs are actually a very new band, having only formed a few months ago in December 2011. Their young age is nothing to laugh at and it works as a selling point, boasting their ability to create music so tight that has taken some veterans a couple of tries to perfect.
Upon listening to stubbs. for the first time, one might come to the conclusion that they’re from a basement in somewhere in Brunswick, New Jersey, or maybe a small suburb outside of Chicago or Richmond at the least. In reality, Irish Handcuffs hail from Regensburg, Germany. This has absolutely zero effect on the music or how you should view the band, it’s just an interesting tidbit that I discovered and thought would be fun to share.
Realistically, not everyone is going to fall in love with Irish Handcuffs in the same way that I did. That’s just not statistically possible. Anyone who is looking for their next fix of melodic punk rock in the vein of Smoke or Fire, The Gaslight Anthem, Banner Pilot, The Menzingers, or American Steel, I highly recommend checking out Irish Handcuffs and their EP, stubbs. Remember that first time you heard Sink or Swim? Yeah, it’s kind of like that.