The Hammer Party Earth Abides CD

Jagged noise rock EP from this Providence band. Presumably named after the BIG BLACK record, the HAMMER PARTY has some pretty big shoes to fill, and does an admirable job holding the grimy torch. These four songs adhere to the “find a groove and play it into the ground” side of the genre in the vein of 400 BLOWS and MELT DOWNER, and they do it well. “Sterilize” opens with instantly gratifying snare pounds, a dissonant guitar lead, and raspy repetitive vocals. “Federal Reserve Blues” pairs a syncopated guitar riff over a skiffling jazz beat to great effect, always feeling slightly off and unpredictable. Final track “Walk the Walk,” featuring Rick Pelletier of SIX FINGER SATELLITE on wailing no wave sax, centers a hollow, loping bass line with growly, TOM WAITS-style vocals that build into a strange bluesy jam. It’s weird, but it’s good weird. If you worship at the scabby AmRep altar, this is worth your time.