Apr 19, 2018

HANK WOOD and the HAMMERHEADS S/T LP


Before we even get started here can we all just come to the conclusion that Hank Wood and the Hammerheads are one of the greatest punk rock bands of the 21st century?

Wheezy blurts from what sounds like an organ that was moonlight requisitioned from the most obnoxious teen beat band on the block, guitars that seem to be an aural equivalent of bare skin sluing across battered on concrete and a voice that makes a person think of an angry dog with Tourette's, the band has made three frenetic full-lengths that that are of their own monster.

Are they some sort of mutated garage punk? It is old school hardcore getting mauled by woodland creatures with rabies? Is this some an art grunge prank that actually works? It's really up to the ear of the beholder of where they wanna lump the band as. The melancholy piano figures "I Can't Stay" may confound fans from any faction as it opens the album. Once the frustration rises to the top though, the fuse is lit and the first powderkeg of sound takes flight in an explosive lift off of twisted notes, all will yell in unison "YES! HAMMERHEADS!"


The cacophony that band makes has always seemed to be fueled by frustration and cemented in a disharmonic outlook of what surrounds them. Despondency looms and lingers has always loomed large in their bag of tricks as songs like "It's Lonely In This World All Alone" and "How'm I  Supposed To Wake Up In The Morning" can attest. While in other hands such titles would most likely stick the earholes into someplace like Morrissey land, the former here seems to have made a stop at a really weird disco to leave with space funk dust in its pockets. The latter decides to soundtrack goth go-go bar.




A particular rage has always been part of Hank Wood and the Hammerheads template and there's plenty of that with the wild explosions that are songs like "You Wanna Die" and "It Must Be Nice" to a point where if the album just went for doing something it for the rest of the record, it would still be something exiciting and would take ages to get sick of.



The thing is though amidst such internal fires also curveballs like thrown in such things like the almost bongriptastic "Love Is A Cold Wild Tile" and they way"Nothing But A Man" answers the question what happens if you lived on a diet of Wire's Pink Flag while practicing fracturing dance moves that will confound while continuing to pummel.

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It seems with a lot of great punk bands, hell even great rock-n-roll bands, is that once they get something that is a sound all of their own, it seems they then lock it tight and hermitically seal it. It eventually becomes a biproduct of stale air. There's enough cracks and wormholes with Hank Wood and the Hammerheads clatter that invites odd smells, strange mildews and weird bugs to come in and make it different each time.
Do your nailing at Toxic State records

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