Handheld’s ‘Live at 25’ celebrates 25 years with an energetic live punk album Handheld
Reviewed by Sam Lowry

Ontario’s Handheld celebrates their 25th anniversary with ‘Live at 25,’ a high-energy live album that captures the essence of their fast, melodic punk legacy.

In a fitting tribute to their enduring legacy, Ontario’s Handheld marks their 25th anniversary with the electrifying live album 'Live at 25'. This is not just another milestone; it’s a testament to the raw, unfiltered energy that has kept this fast-paced, melodic punk band a staple in the skate punk scene. Recorded in a small, packed club, the album captures the essence of Handheld’s spirited performances, presenting a visceral journey through their extensive discography.

Handheld’s sonic evolution is laid bare in this release. From their early days tearing up stages across North America to their recent resurgence, the band’s commitment to their craft remains unshaken. 'Live at 25' isn’t merely a nostalgic trip; it’s a celebration of their growth and a nod to their future. This album, out now via Thousand Islands Records and Pink Lemonade Records, stands as a beacon for both long-time fans and newcomers, showcasing their ability to meld speed, melody, and relentless punk energy.

The live recordings resonate with the fervor that has defined Handheld’s career. Each track is imbued with the vigor of their live shows, capturing the sweat-drenched, high-octane atmosphere of the club where it was recorded. The band’s statement on the release underscores their undying spirit: "It's been an incredible 25 years of playing fast, melodic punk rock. Despite the years, the essence of Handheld hasn't aged a bit. We’re back with more power and energy than ever, ready to deliver new records and shows. Expect nothing but fast tempos, power chords, and intense beats."

Handheld’s history is one of perseverance and passion. After a decade-long run from 1998 to 2008, the band took a 14-year hiatus before making a triumphant return with 'A Canadian Tragedy'. Now, with 'Live at 25', they reaffirm their place in the punk pantheon. The album is available for streaming and purchase on vinyl and CD, inviting listeners to experience the undiluted, high-energy performances that have defined their legacy.

For those drawn to the melodic speed of punk legends like Face to Face, Bad Religion, NOFX, Rise Against, and Millencolin, 'Live at 25' is an essential listen. Handheld is not just reminiscing on their past; they’re blazing a trail forward, proving that true punk energy never fades.

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