Minneapolis alt-rock band A Better Hand are releasing their debut EP Cheap Smokes and Champagne on February 26, 2021 via Mutant League Records. Any debut has to make an impression and A Better Hand did just that with this effort. Throughout the five songs, each stands out on their own, from the captivating lyrics and imagery of “Silhouettes” to the emotional depth of “Get it Right.”
“Silhouettes” starts off with a quiet, soft introduction moving into a heavy downbeat. Vocalist Jordon Salgado brings the idea of being haunted by memories into a new light, as if haunted by the silhouette of the memories. The breakdown is empowering, unlike the beginning of the song. There’s an amplification of emotion from the beginning to the end. At the start, it seems as if the lyricist is hopeless and continues to be haunted by past relationships while towards the end gaining the power to overcome this haunting.
While “Silhouettes” is about the haunting images of a past relationship, “Wrong One” is about acknowledging that the person from the failed relationship was not the right one. While acknowledging the state of the person and their relationship, the lyricist also brings attention to how they’re coping and if it’s in a healthy way. This is where the title of the EP comes into play, the lyricist mentioning a relapse on cheap smokes and champagne.
The overall theme of Cheap Smokes and Champagne seems to be losing someone and yourself, while trying to come back in a healthy way. At the beginning of the EP Salgado sings about being haunted by his past relationship but towards the end sings about getting it right with himself.
Cheap Smokes and Champagne is for anyone who struggles with letting go of their past and moving on or for those who just like an awesome breakdown now and then. This EP does not disappoint.