Griffen Handshake’s latest offering, “Backwards Country,” serves as a compelling anthem that transcends the boundaries of traditional punk. Far from being an anti-American diatribe, the track emerges as a poignant commentary on the prevailing issue of gun violence in the United States. Penned in response to the jarring July 4 parade shootings, the lyrics, “Boom goes the firework, boom goes the firearm, we watch on land, while our friends look down upon,” encapsulate the haunting reality we face. The duo, comprising brothers Millen (guitar, vocals) and Arjun Schuchert (drums, vocals), draws influence from a diverse musical spectrum, ranging from Green Day to Dua Lipa. “Backwards Country” spearheads their new era of music, heralding the imminent release of the EP “Three Strikes and You’re Out” in early 2024.
Griffen Handshake’s live prowess gained momentum in 2023, with shows beyond their Pittsburgh base, including cities like Buffalo, Cleveland, and Philadelphia. Their previous EP, “IN YOUR FACE,” received acclaim, with reviewers lauding their bold sound and clever lyricism. The recording process for “Backwards Country” unfolded in two basements, a fitting backdrop for the raw energy the band exudes. Collaborating with recording/mixing engineer Evan Yester and mastering maestro Mike Hillier from Metropolis Studios, Griffen Handshake successfully melds their punk ethos with a refined sonic palette.
“Backwards Country” is not just a song; it’s a call to action, urging dialogue on gun violence awareness and fostering solutions for a safer USA. Arjun’s dual role as drummer and visual artist adds a personal touch to the project, with his artwork gracing the single. As Griffen Handshake navigates this new chapter in their musical journey, “Backwards Country” stands as a testament to their commitment to addressing societal issues through music. In the words of the band, their core message is crystal clear: “love imperfection to your core.”