Even when it comes to punk rock music that feels known and understandable, there’s more to be said and done.
The Hammer Party – Black Milk
The Hammer Party packs an irreverent but inviting punk sensibility into their 2018 full length, Black Milk. Musically, the piece feels ambitious, taking the listener on a bumpy ride through concepts of drive, grandiosity, and down-to-earth grit. The album maintains a striking forward looking slant throughout its run, always having a bed of pressured music for the listener to fall back on.
The band sounds darkly toned but clear, letting the listener know that even if they feel out of place at first after turning on their work, the musicians know where they’re going. They’ve zeroed in on a curious songwriting space, sharing riffs and melodic ideas that are at once “cosmic” and “dirty.” The musical side of the record represents a very curious union along those lines, honestly. It feels like a conscious and substantive statement of purpose of a band determined to turn their unique cultural and other sensibilities into music. They draw a lot of strength from that sense of Black Milk as a personal and almost interactive record.
The listener can hang on various parts of the work as they make their way through, but that’s not to say there’s an overly disjointed sense. Instead, there’s just a union, wrapping angry and intense traditional punk vocals with an open, honestly NOT angry sounding musical sensibility. At the same time, the record has a harsh angry underside and a smooth side to its musical presentation. It makes for a unique and broad experience that’s going to make a punk interested in digging into the music feel right at home.
Listen below via Bandcamp
The Focke Wolves – Blasto Maxxxo, et al.
The Focke Wolves sounds like an ambitious rock band. Listening to their 2017 release Blasto Maxxxo, there’s a sense that they’re reaching for the stars here, in a sense. They’ve left traditional considerations in the dust and are crafting something that’s got a huge sound while maintaining the edge that lets them call themselves a rock band in the first place. They join those two aspects of their work quite well.
The vocal work soars, and the music does too. There’s a feeling that even in that they distinguish themselves, pushing themselves just THAT much farther in order to get their melodic hard rock core as sped up and invitingly off the edge as possible.
They never get too full of themselves, which is important, letting the listener come along for the ride that the band is on. The outfit almost sounds like the quintessential “everyman’s rock band,” presenting jams for fans of heavy music from across the spectrum to enjoy and find their own way with. The band feels like they have a sense that doing so is how to get ahead and have their music land well, and they sound legitimately invested in that process and their music as a whole, which also contributes to their sonic success. While their music could be marked for being accessible, it’s still dynamic and not overly simplified. Instead, it feels well poised to provide a legitimate, solid good time for people.
New music will be coming from them sooner than later, too! They’re recording in fall 2018 and planning to put out tracks on a staggered basis, instead of waiting for a full length.
Listen below via Spotify