Worn Thin - Review
It seems Never Ever
was just a quick introduction to this new project from Doc Hammer, because here we have a great new album with a dozen tracks full of the grinding, driving alternative rock sounds.
Released as their official first full-length album we really have a treat here with this eco-friendly 4-panel cardboard cd wallet with 4-page booklet.
Unlike most of my reviews, I'm actually going to start this one with the two cover tracks that appear at the end of the album because they are key to understanding this band. First of all they include a cover of "Right Here, Right Now" from Jesus Jones
which many readers will recognize from their early 90's indie rock sound, which came out about the time "alternative rock" became a buzz word and 120 Minutes graced MTV as the last of the great videos to be shown before becoming the ironic non-music TV channel they are today. This cover fits Weep
perfectly and the style which I've struggled to describe previously now becomes clear, mixing alternative rock with bits and pieces of modern shoegaze and indie post-punk styles. The second cover also fits this band perfectly because of their heavy satire, the cover in question is none other than Rihana's
"Shut Up and Drive", basically composed and performed "as it should be". It's possible that many readers aren't familiar with the pop scene to even relate to the original piece, but having a young teenage daughter, unfortunately I am familiar with the pop version and gained new appreciation for this piece in the raspy, alt-rock version of Weep
With those two pieces behind, the reader has a good bassline for the overall style and moods. "Snow Scenery" starts off the album with driving beats, grinding guitars and Doc's raspy vocals. This remains pretty much the status quo throughout the ten or so tracks that follow. "Let Me" is upbeat with a slight pop style, while the diversity comes out in the mid-tempo piece "A Reminder" or through the driving percussion of the title track "Worn Thin". We're presented with an alternate remix of "Ever Shy (Nov. Mix)" which is even more somber than the original. Each piece keeps that solid style of guitar-driven mix of shoegaze and alternative rock only deviating slightly from track to track for a bit of variety.
I think fans that enjoyed the 90's alternative rock scene will enjoy this band, while it's still very accessible to all the fans within the goth, shoegaze and related genres.
Never Ever - Review
Here is the latest project from Doc Hammer, also known most around here for his work with Lisa in Mors Syphilitica
With that said, it should probably be noted that besides a little bit of the guitar, this project sounds nothing like the other. This features Doc belting out his nice vocals that mix well with the fast-paced shoegaze, guitar-driven music. This first album is short with only eight tracks, but gives us a nice taste to enjoy on this cool vynil-looking CD in a simple cardboard case.
It was fun to read the satyrical biography of the band on their myspace page, and there's just a touch of that on this album, starting with "Lay There and Drown". This piece is a great introduction and was a quick favorite with the pounding drums and driving guitar moving the music along. The vocals and guitars remind of rough sandpaper, grinding along in a cool pattern. "The Hole" picks up in much the same way with the driving drums with layer upon layer of guitars and synths for a nice touch.
The music is somewhat melancholy with a sort of post-punk feel, some people might relate it a bit to Joy Division
, but I feel it has more of that shoegazer feel to it, so it really is a good mix. Each track moves along with a nice pace through a bit of melancholy on "One Lock, One Key" and then "The Wanting House" which brings us halfway through the disc. Surprisingly enough the tempo comes down slightly on "Ever Shy", again the shoegazer style remains solid on this piece with excellent soaring guitars creating a rhapsody of rhythm and sound. After this we're quickly back to the quick paced rhythm and heavier nature of the music on "Su Promesa", "Can't Be True" with more excellent guitar work in more of a psychadelic style, and finally closing with "The Weep". This is a nice change to finalize the album, still with a shoegaze style and Doc's unrefined vocals, for a sort of male-ethereal take on the music... a great ending to this fantastic work.