Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Album Review: Hammer No More The Fingers - Black Shark

 On Black Shark, the second album from Hammer No More The Fingers, the Durham rockers reign their raucous energy in and let their musical ideas loose.

There’s more ebb and flow to the song here than on their previous record, Looking for Bruce. Where they might have charged straight ahead before, Hammer No More The Fingers now change things up. The string interludes in "Thunder n’ Rain" is a perfect example.

This is a trio of some pretty good musicians and Black Shark highlights that. The production is cleaner, which allows the intricate guitar and bass lines to stand out.

With a clear and solid foundation, the melodies feel effortless. Nearly every song has one bit that will stick in listeners’ heads and there’s sure to be one song they’ll have to put on repeat. For me that song is "The Visitor." The pre-chorus build up in the drums that launches the vocals skyward is one of the most satisfying moments on the record.

Thankfully, all of this musical maturity doesn’t mean the band has gotten too serious. By singing about saving the world from Leroy ("Leroy") and about the importance of nutrition ("Your Nutrition is My Mission"), Hammer No More The Fingers lets listeners know it still has a goofy side.

In 34 minutes, Hammer No More The Fingers show just how good they can be. Because of Black Shark, they might be the next local band Triangle music fans find themselves talking about in sentences that begin with, "I knew them when..."

Black Shark is out on April 5 and Hammer No More The Fingers will celebrate its release with in-strore performances that day at CD Alley in Chapel Hill, Bull City Records in Durham and Schoolkids Records in Raleigh.

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