Tuesday 30 July 2019

HAMMERHANDS - Model Citizen (Album Review)

Release date: July 18th 2019. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Model Citizen – Tracklisting

1.Pleasure Island 04:17
2.MAXIMUM Beta 04:26
3.Do It Right 04:13
4.I'm Not Here 04:49
5.Too Many Rivers 05:23
6.Dad Sludge 03:33
7.That Awful Sound 06:09
8.Not in the Cards 03:22
9.Bastard Jesus 06:37


Collin Young - Guitar, Vocals
NJ Borreta - Guitar, Vocals
Jon Galletly - Drums, Vocals
Justin Hunt - Bass


Hammerhands new album – Model Citizen – is quite a loud and aggressive album with a deep social conscience running within the bands DNA. The album is quite different to their earlier albums and I have to applaud the band for writing hard-hitting lyrics to match their heavy experimental and sometimes Psychedelic Rock/Metal sound.

Opening song – Pleasure Island – starts off promisingly with a mixture of intense Progressive Doom/Sludge Metal grooves that feel influenced by Mastodon and Neurosis. The hap-hazard approach with the music is quite infectious in places and the progressive sounding guitars add a real classy sound to proceedings. Hammerhands sound quite confident on this song and leave you wanting more.

Second song – Maximum Beta – has a more Hardcore based sound compared to the opening song. The song still manages to maintain a deep progressive groove with hard-hitting lyrics to match. The vocals feel out of place for the most part but soon settle down into a more confident rhythm. The music is way more experimental with elements of Sludge, Doom, Noise and Hardcore Punk combining for a deeply troubling and unflinching sound.

Third song – Do It Right – is quite freaky, surreal and very gloomy in places. The band feel inspired by Eagle Twin on this song with the vocals and riffs having a familiar sound to them. Though, the socially aware lyrics save the day once more and allow Hammerhands to create an unsettling style of Doom/Sludge Metal.

Fourth song – I’m Not Here – is one of the standout songs on the album with the band playing a more straight-forward style of Doom/Sludge Metal with a classic sounding Hardcore groove being added for a deeply unsettling approach.

Hammerhands continue experimenting with their sound and adding a gloomy rebellious nature to the overall feel of the album. Songs such as Too Many Rivers, That Awful Sound and Bastard Jesus make a lasting impression and that’s down to the dark lyrical content the band have written for these songs.

Overall, Model Citizen is an superbly produced and well-made album with a lot to say. It will take time to fully understand what’s going on with this album and is perhaps best suited to the more adventurous Doom/Sludge Metal listener.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Will at Prescription PR for the promo. Model Citizen will be available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl.