Hammerhead - Stiff

There are 666 reasons to buy this debut EP by this local Tasmanian band that is Hammerhead. At 51 minutes length, this album attempts to be nothing more than a solid exponent of guitar driving rock and solos, with a filth rocking fervor and vitality that shakes. Yes, it rocks like successful CPR. Every rose has its thorn, but this album with its dark titles has a lot of character.


With its searing minor harmonic guitar scales, fret-melting Stratocasters, the verse, the chorus, bridge and solo of ‘Dance of the Mail Order Bride' is an obvious choice for a single. With its amusing title, one can hardly think that this album is really about the expression of a singer with an mail-order Motley Crue live in Japan rare unreleased b-side in his hands after it arrives in the post, but just like that mail-order, it delivers - straight from the album sleeves of the 80s, dusty but untarnished. Riff metal once a pop culture sorely missed through the grunge years, today a genre given various guises, contortions, dimensions, hues and codas. Whether it's too done is another matter for the listener, 80s metal is an enormous memory relapse – Hammerhead are serious about it and pull off the pastiche with undeniable ease. There is always an excellent excuse for starting a band – but playing the music that you grew up listening too is very understandable. I know I did – the time and the place you first heard White Lion, Hanoi Rocks or Queensryche. Legs-splaying, plank-spanking goodness.


Asides from things, there are bands such as Wolfmother and The Darkness whom have made the style prominent and accessible. What a nice change to the entire industry Britpop or House techno it makes any day. Danceable like a lemur ballerina in headlights is the rifftastic track Animal, it will fuck you like a beast and you will come out of the room the morning after feeling shackled but content. Kicking out the jams & laying down the mood of the album hereafter, the track "Peacefully" is also very solid – the lyrics are great – "step back from a heart attack, I'm alive and I'm awake and I move the stone. I'm not the chosen one but at least I'm living peacefully here on my own". Hammerhead get mega-sensitive on our arses with ‘Emirembe' being a power ballad which has been crooned, delivered and studio produced with remarkable clarity just like soft metal ought to be done. The lengthy soloing contained within the song ‘Fight' are executed with precision. Other tracks sing of personal anguish, loneliness and pain in a world gone mad like ‘Feel the Pain' ‘The One You Knock Back' and ‘Pure Evil' – themes not lost on the hordes of those whom want to rock. The duo of Nick and Adrian on vo-kills resonates on tracks like ‘Hot When You Cry' and my favourite ‘Clinically Excited' with its hard riffs is a perfect way to finish the album – I think another good single, and I cant wait to see the clip, the northern suburbs being perfect fodder for it as in the cover art. Its obvious that the Hammerhead guys are having a lot of fun and the invite to fang down highway route 666 should be took up with undaunted enthusiasm and wild abandon – so get this CD throbbing in your hot little palms at a shop near you today.

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