Hammer Fight - Hammer Fight
Self released
Punky Hard Rock/Metal
7 songs (21'46")
Release year: 2011
Reviewed by Alex

If there is one thing the new New Jersey formation Hammer Fight is right about, it is that their state’s scene is oversaturated with death metal and hardcore. It is if every self-respecting NJ man is full of macho attitude, angst, boiling over temper or all of the above combined. Whatever happened to the good ol’ having fun while playing music? Hammer Fight is apparently here to fill that void.

Focusing on the breakneck speed and playful approach, the band rips off a couple of raucous, noisy, energetic picker-uppers with Down the Line and Disas-Tour. Furious tempos, skuzzy unpolished production, the band just keeps rolling through their riffs, sounding a little bit stoner rock at times (Disas-Tour), but full of punky energy throughout. Hammer Fight will be a welcome addition in every NJ (and beyond) bar, but Rob Guidotti and Todd Stern show considerable guitar skills wailing through their out-of-control leads on Down the Line. Stuck in the Chamber is punkier and grindier still, but Hammer Fight employs no D-beat, and this is not hardcore punk. If anything, the best description for the EP is accelerated Motorhead with extended arpeggiated leads. Speedwolf from Denver comes close, but their recent Ride with Death veers significantly more towards thrash. Hammer Fight music is more rough’n’tough than brutal, the gruff vocals of bassist Drew Murphy fitting the style of the delivery. Tears of Unfathomable Sadness provides a cool break in action, showing that traditional heavy metal with its power mongering hungry chords is nor foreign to Hammer Fight. The true calling for the band, however, remains their speedy tunes. Tripping over itself School of Rock gets back to the speed the band craves and Get Wrecked would be another moshpit riser (the title says it all). Even ACDC cover If You Want Blood (You Got It) has much more detunage and distortion than the original, perfectly catching the party-till-the-end spirit.

An EP like Hammer Fight is a perfect antidote for someone feeling way too serious about him/herself. Subtle in terms of guitar playing aptitude, Hammer Fight provides an excellent respite when you simply feel like letting your inhibitions go, without pummeling and overproduced bottom end. Production is truly a very relative word for Hammer Fight, this sounds as if recorded in one take, which it probably wasn’t. The music preserves the live atmosphere of some 25 people-to-full-capacity venue, which is pretty much where Hammer Fight should feel like a fish in a bowl. Although, if the band desires (and deservedly so) to grow those audiences, local and otherwise touring is recommended and is undoubtedly in Hammer Fight plans.

Killing Songs :
Down the Line, Stuck in the Chamber, Tears of Unfathomable Sadness
Alex quoted 76 / 100
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