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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hammer No More The Fingers Channels Steely Dan?

I have recently been enjoying the self-titled debut release from Chapel Hill/Durham power trio Hammer No More The Fingers. This is great indie rock that is sure to leave you wondering when you can get your hands on their first full-length album, which they recently completed recording.

Consisting of front-man bassist/vocalist, Duncan Webster, guitarist/vocalist, Joe Hall, and drummer/vocalist Jeff Stickley, this is a group of solid players who, mark my words, are going to be huge. The writing is strong, consistent, danceable, fun, and sometimes hilarious. As I listen to them, I can even hear the ghost of Steely Dan on songs like "Bossman" and "Vodka Grasshopper", though they are strongly in the indie groove, perhaps a pared down relative of Sorry About Dresden.

Lyrically, Webster and crew are the life of the party, with songs like "O.R.G.Y." (note to the guys--stay away from my daughter!), "Vodka Grasshopper", and "Mushrooms". That could get them banned from every library in Alaska if Governor Sarah Palin had her way. In case you missed it, Hammer played a benefit last week for Barack Obama along with 4 other bands, and despite the late hour, they predictably rocked Cat's Cradle.

The band seals the deal with solid musicianship, playing a tight, melody-driven set. One area for improvement, however, is vocal delivery. While they get the job done for sure, I look forward to hearing the band develop their collective voices.

Overall, Hammer No More The Fingers' debut EP is one of my favorite releases of the year.

HNMTF are playing a series of shows in the area--see their MySpace page for details.

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