Tasmania. An island state
hundreds of kilometres off of the south coast of Australia best known for it's
green apples and great beer. It's unlikely that melodic rock makes it to the
state's top 10 exports, however Hammerhead... a 4-piece from Hobart, are doing
their best to change that. Following on from their 2006 debut release 'Stiff',
Hammerhead have just released their second offering 'Seduction Suite' which
comprises of 15 courses of 80's inspired sleazy guitar rock.
What strikes me first with Hammerhead is the pure grade of 80's inspired guitar rock they play. It's rare these days to hear sleazy hard rock without the punk influence, but Hammerhead have nailed it. The raspy, growling yet melodic vocals are backed by a solid uncomplicated rhythm section and some flashy, but tidy guitar work. Hammerhead are the mid-ground between early Skid Row and Crazy Lixx. Quality comparisons, but they've earned it.
The intro to the opening track leaves the listener in no doubt where this disc is heading, but it's any number of the following 5-6 tracks that could be used in a court of law to prove that Hammerhead are undoubtedly guilty of committing sleazy rock 'n' roll acts. 'Come Home With Me' could be mistaken for a track by any number of prominent Swedish sleaze bands, whilst 'Nice Day' exudes a Kix-like vibe.
The second half of the album doesn't contain as many standout tracks as the opening half, but one thing it does show is that Hammerhead sure know how to write a killer chorus. "Better Than That" and "Away From You" both have a chorus that just screams to be played live. And just like the cherry on top of a cake, the album is completed with the glorious 'Crush My Soul', which is equal parts ballad and hair metal anthem.
Even here in Australia these guys are a much over looked gem. Living on the far-reaching edges of the Earth can have its limitations and I guess notoriety is just one of them. Putting that aside, this is an album that can mix it with the best. The songs, the production, the packaging are all first class. I enjoyed this one so much that it's more-than-likely bullocked it's way into my top 20 Aussie releases of all time. One suggestion though... a 15 track 'great' album could have been a 'sensational' 10-11 track album with just a little trimming. That's just a minor point however, that shouldn't retract from the quality of the album overall. Definitely worth tracking down.
by Lindsay Buloch
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