Hammers are a band from the Manchester area of the UK, who released a number of records before disbanding, and then re-forming recently. Playing an original brand of metallic hardcore, they are due to release an album entitled ‘Vardøgr’ on June 10th. It sounds good, and to add to the interest, it’s been mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, as man who is currently enjoying widespread critical acclaim for his engineering work on the re-issue of Sleep’s legendary ‘Dopesmoker’ epic.
The album, available at a pay-what-you-want tariff from Bandcamp, will also be released as a 10″ vinyl record in June. But what’s nice about it is that Hammers are not just another of the legion of bands who play the same maximum speed thrash while shouting over the top. There is originality here, the songs are much more complex that what would normally be labelled ‘crust’ or ‘hardcore. I detect elements of early Black Flag both musically and vocally, intertwined with heavy, downtuned riffs and quite involved timing changes and structures. This almost fragmented approach to song structure means that the listener’s interest is engaged – some of the old Dischord bands were good at this technique, and it won’t please the heads down thrashers amongst you, but for those of us who enjoy something with a bit more originality, this is just great.
Don’t think this is some kind of self indulgent pseudo-punk trip, though – just look at ‘The Sun’s Journey Through the Night’ for example, where full-on metallic thrash breaks down into a more reflective, tuneful passage, only to resume again with speed and intensity.
Hammers have produced a record here which shows maturity and glints of real interest. It is a grower for sure – you’ll take a few listens to really appreciate the wealth of material on offer – but it’s one of 2012’s more interesting albums so far. The band is also embarking on a massive tour to support the release, and if you get the chance then I urge you to get out and see them.
02/06/12 – UK. nottingham, old angel w/ wormrot
09/06/12 – UK. bradford, 1-in-12 club w/ tragedy
10/06/12 – UK. penzance, dirty sunday w/ crocus
11/06/12 – UK. london, black heart (camden)
12/06/12 – FR. herzeele, ferme de la briqueterie
13/06/12 – NL. utrecht, acu w/ sloth
14/06/12 – DE. hannover, ujz korn
15/06/12 – DE. berlin, schokoladen
16/06/12 – DE. dresden, venue tba
17/06/12 – CZ. prague, klubovna povalec
18/06/12 – AT. graz, sub
19/06/12 – HU. budapest, szabad az a
20/06/12 – RS. bačka topola, klub panta rhei
21/06/12 – BA. banja luka, venue tba
22/06/12 – IT. campel – fuck shoes fest vol. 2, trento
23/06/12 – IT. monza, boccaccio
24/06/12 – IT. carpi, ekidna – rottura del silenzio fest w/ holy
25/06/12 – CAN YOU HELP?
26/06/12 – CH. geneva, kab-usine
27/06/12 – ES. barcelona, begood club
28/06/12 – ES. madrid, rock palace
29/06/12 – ES. a coruña, csoa palavea
30/06/12 – ES. bilbao (basauri), txarraska gaztetxea
01/07/12 – FR. bordeaux, heretic club
02/07/12 – FR. paris, venue tba
03/07/12 – BE. brussels, dna
04/07/12 – DE. essen, emokeller
05/07/12 – NL. tilburg, little devil
06/07/12 – BE. kortrijk, the pits
07/07/12 – DE. köln, az köln-kalk w/ alpinist, masakari
08/07/12 – UK. ipswich (alldayer, hammers <4.30pm), royal oak
08/07/12 – UK. norwich, olive’s café
09/07/12 – UK. leeds, royal park cellars
10/07/12 – UK. manchester, kraak gallery w/ graf orlock, lich