Hammered Hulls


Hammered Hulls Careening LP

’80s hardcore is back! But was it ever gone? While this is HAMMERED HULLS’ debut LP, coming after their 2019 self-titled 7″, they are by no means a novice act. The foursome of Mark Cisneros (CHAIN AND THE GANG) on guitar, Mary Timony (AUTOCLAVE, HELIUM, EX HEX) on bass, Chris Wilson (TED LEO / PHARMACISTS) on drums, and Alec MacKaye (IGNITION, UNTOUCHABLES) on vocals (and yes, younger brother of Ian MacKaye) have all contributed to many more bands than mentioned, and are all legends, still at large.  HAMMERED HULLS p(l)ays homage to its ’80s DC hardcore roots, vis-à-vis MINOR THREAT, FUGAZI, RITES OF SPRING (the lyrics here bring them to mind), BAD BRAINS—you name it—yet their sound strives purposefully into the present. Or is it Careening its way to us?  Too pissed and sad to run, too driven to ever stop. The guitar riffs are clever, fast, and range from off-tempo jabs to steady chugging; the bass steamrolls through each track and then links up with the guitar line for techy transitions; drums slam and berate, then back off at the crescendo, rolling with the bass as Alec picks it all up again with spoken, sung, and screamed lyrics. This whole album rules, but “Abstract City” and “Written Word” are at the top of the heap, for me. Careening is already sold out on their Bandcamp page, so check your local shop.  Do. Not. Miss.

Hammered Hulls Written Words EP

So let’s just for a minute try to ignore the “former members of…” thing going on here. It’s pretty straightforward, basic, early-’80s style, mid- to up-tempo hardcore punk. What makes this record better than other? Hooks. They’re all over the place. Guitar hooks, bass hooks, whatever you want. Since our minute is up, the reason most people will buy this record is maybe the least interesting part. Not that Alec MacKaye’s vocals have lost anything, the other pieces are just real solid (they also have wildly long lists of amazing bands that they have played in). It’s real catchy, no-nonsense punk. If you are one of the many silent folks who prefer the FAITH side, you have to get this. Even if you don’t, check it out.