Published Jul 17, 2019The sonic ecosystem of Hammerhands is an odd amalgamation of elements: sludge metal and noise rock, set against a backdrop of a Clint Eastwood western, is indeed an interesting mashup.
After two very contrasting releases, Glaciers and Largo Forte, Model Citizen is a happy marriage of both of these worlds in a way that creates a completely new identity for the band. Model Citizen is a deeply personal dive into the weird world of Hammerhands, and one that we should all be thankful for.
The album start with the usual riff-forward approach; heavy riffs on Model Citizen, however, come in a variety of ways. From the natural harmonic foray of "MAXIMUM Beta," the punishing plod of "Too Many Rivers" and "Dad Sludge," to the '80s-fuelled solos of "I'm Not Here," Model Citizen gets its point across in many ways.
Whether intentional or not, it is tough to ignore the definite western vibe. Since sprinkling this element in Largo Forte, Model Citizen goes full bore on the vocal style. Songs like "Do It Right," "Dad Sludge" and "Not In the Cards" take their heavy music in less traditional directions, and are welcome surprises on the record. Hammerhands use this element to add an extra depth and dynamic range to their music in ways so few heavy bands are able to.
Through unconventional means, Hammerhands' Model Citizen is a truly unique experience in heavy music. On the surface, sludge and western themes do not have much in common. Hammerhands, however, are able to make truly special record because of it. (Independent)