EP REVIEW: Hammers – ‘Kicking Goals’

Words by Shannon-Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer

If you haven’t been following Hammers socials lately and seeing the promotional videos they’ve done to hype up the release of their sophomore EP, then you’re missing out big time. Forever the comedians, but also just really bloody good musicians and top blokes in general, Hammers have delivered a series of vids giving some comical insight into each track from their upcoming six track EP, ‘Kicking Goals’ and flamin’ heck, it’s an aptly named EP! The guys are sure as hell kicking some big goals in the local heavy music scene and beyond.   

I did a little write up about one of the previously released tracks from this EP back in November last year. Cracker Night; what a cracker of a track. One of the things I wrote in that write up was this: ‘Anyone who is familiar with this awesome foursome would know, every song they give us is like a gift of true Aussie musical goodness. It’s honest, it’s heavy and it’s in your face like a hot meat pie thrown at you hard and fast from a good distance.’ And to this day it’s one of my personal favourite descriptions I have ever penned. The meat pie in the face reference is, in my opinion, a perfect analogy. Because just like a meat pie in your face, Hammers new EP is coming at you, hard, hot and fast, perhaps unexpected even, but when it hits your face, after the initial shock, as you are licking it off your face, you’re thinking “Fuck yeah, this is tasty as hell, I want some more!” 

And more is what you’ll have. After the previously released and highly successful debut EP, ‘Homeblokes’ released in 2018, which to this day is on high rotation on my regular playlist, the guys have kicked a goal again with their new one. But I wouldn’t have expected any less from this awesome foursome. Hammers are a Northern Rivers N.S.W / Gold Coast / Brisbane – ‘Turbo Blues’ band made up of Fish -Vocals, Stoney – Guitar/Vocals, Ricky T – Bass and Ruckus – Drums. 

The album kicks off with Suze. A song about a rather tough ‘woman of the night’ who gets her own back in self defense with a truck driver who gets to ‘handsy’. The little promo vid for this one is seriously hilarious, if you haven’t seen it, stop reading for a minute and go check out the guys Facebook page to find it. It’s worth it, I promise. And it’s the little touches that get me, like Fish sporting his Bluey pajamas. I mean, who doesn’t love Bluey right now, am I right? In fact I reckon the guys should write a song about Bluey, if anyone could do it, it would be Hammers. But I digress, the song itself is not your typical storytelling style song, it’s not Josh Pyke or Paul Kelly telling a soft and emotive tale about a house you grew up in or about making gravy. Nope. It’s Hammers, telling a tale of a ‘small town whore’ and it’s a banger of an opener to the EP. 

Rolling straight into track two, Silly Sausage. A song about two mates who decide to rob a butchers shop. What a crazy idea huh? Even crazier to write a song about it? Yeah, nah, it’s gold. With Stoney’s clean and faultless vocals and Fish’s spoken word and gravelly vocals telling us the tale, with a shit hot breakdown in the middle of the song with some guttural screams thrown in there to add another layer to this one. By track two, it’s clear that this is an EP full of tales and stories that needed to be told, stories that you needed in your life, even though, until this actual moment, you didn’t know you needed them. But you do. You really do. At a time when the world is deadset turned upside down by a global pandemic, if you can’t have a good laugh while rocking out at the same time, then just get fucked. This EP is exactly what the Doctor ordered. 

Track three is Cracker Night, which as previously mentioned, was released late last year, along with a music video with an intro and outro featuring and highlighting the acting skills of Fish and Stoney once again. It also features a bit of a mashup of some of their live shows, including Dead Of Winter which for a very brief moment in time, sees my face flash up on the screen, laughing and smiling my head off while watching the guys perform. Because that’s what you do at a Hammers gig, it’s impossible not to smile, laugh and have a good time. Hammers are ‘good time’ music, there’s no denying it. The song is an ode to the old cracker night, fireworks and crackers in the suburban backyard. The fun and danger was taken away when the night was banned in Australia in 1986, but its memory lives on with this track.

When Kings Collide kicks off reminding me of a Them Crooked Vultures or Queens Of The Stone Age style riff and overall sound and vibe. This track is a stand out for me. The combination of clear and gravelly vocals, backing vocals, hard hitting drums, riffs and solid, steady bass-line combined in this track are all one neat cacophony of sound that pleases my ears and sits in my chest like a rock. And no one one can say “Get it up ya” straight after a quality lead guitar moment quite like Fish

Guilty Pleasures, the first single released from the EP that comes with one heck of a music video. This one highlights the acting skills of the one and only man on the bass, Ricky T and again shows the fun side of the entire band. The song and video also features a bit of a ‘scream off’ between Fish and Stoney that I reckon they enjoyed as much as fans enjoy watching. I also just want to take a moment here to shout out the man who bangs, and bangs hard, the man on the drums, Ruckus. His drumming style and sound gives Hammers a big part of their recognizable sound that fans and followers know and love. And I mean, seriously, any music video that ends with four grown men in their jocks doing a ‘dance sequence’ that involves a hell of a lot of thrusting and a mean spin kick is good in my books. What a banger of a song and what a banger of a music video. The guys describe the track as being about ‘a man’s uncanny knack of surrendering all sensibility and practical logic because of a beautiful woman.’ But right now, after watching the clip again, all I can think about is four beautiful men, in their jocks. Just sayin’ 

Last Breath closes the EP. This one vears in a very different direction to the rest of the album. This one hits your heart. It actually gave me shivers the first time I listened to it through my headphones. This one shows a much more serious side to these four fun loving guys. Showing that, no matter how much you take the piss, we are all human. We all live, we all hurt, we all take our last breath at some stage too. It’s a short track at only 2:05. But it doesn’t need to be lengthy to have the impact it has. The clap sequence through the track adds to the track and gives it a kind of heartbeat of sorts. Nice job fellas. I love this track. I love this EP. Thanks for the journey, thanks for the stories, thanks for the laughs and thanks for the emotions that your music has given me. 

‘Kicking Goals’ is set for release on Friday August 21st, 2020. You can pre save it HERE

Hammers; four guys – big personalities – big laughs – big music –  kicking big goals. 

Now, anyone for a hot meat pie with some tomato sauce?

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