Friday, July 14, 2006

Hammer Bros. - The Vitality CD Review

Hardcore is an easy genre to bash on. Most of the bands sound the same, the attitude is often annoying, and it rarely takes all that much talent to put together a capable hardcore band. With that in mind, the first full length from the Hammer Bros. on Crosscheck Records brings the pain, and brings it fast and heavy.

In around 23 minutes, these guys tear through 10 solid tracks, all blisteringly fast paced, with only a few mid tempo stomp sections. Setting the band’s pace is Jim Domenici’s rapid fire vocal approach. I would hate to have his throat because I can only imagine how much torture he puts it through in yelling out every last lyric. The rest of the band has no trouble keeping up either, with snappy drums and grinding guitars. Every track is punishing.

“Thus Consumption” is easily The Vitality’s standout track. At almost 4 minutes in length it is nearly a sixth of the album’s length, but every minute is crushing. From the opening minute of slow paced, chugging guitars to the thrash oriented mid section to the well placed guitar solo ¾ of the way through to the final mosh-tastic, gang vocal laden 20 seconds, this track drop-kicks the competition out of the way.

Playing in the style of music pioneered by Bad Brains, Madball, Slapshot, and Cro-Mags and doing it well is something to be proud of, and the Hammer Bros. should be overflowing with pride. The final track of The Vitality is a cover of Cro-Mags’ “Don’t Tread on Me” and the band does a stellar job of doing it justice. All in all this is a fine hardcore release that brings about a sense of righteous anger that you don’t feel coming from many of today’s trendy hardcore bands.

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