Hammerhead 

Memory Hole

The Alternate Universe, circa 1990s: King Buzzo of the Melvins appears in American Pie as "Garage Band Member;" Liz Phair's "Supernova" is based on an encounter with Jon Lovitz; The Offspring break up; Hammerhead does not. If only.

Lucky for us, the trio has briefly returned from hiatus, as has its noisy, abrasive, aggressive, noodle and stomp. Their Memory Hole EP kicks off with "Resurrecto," a bulldozer of a jam chock full of guitarist Paul Sanders's distorted crunch, squawk, and squeak. The rhythm section arrives and you realize what it must sound like when Decepticons make love. The overwhelming instrumentation engulfs the hazy vocals hoarsely whispering sweet angst. Crushing. The title track is a time traveler's delight, sending listeners back to simpler times when bands melded the vocal stylings of Joy Division with 10-ton riffage to mimic the pathos of epic self-flagellation.

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I fear some purists will judge this EP a titch too refined for their well-honed rock 'n' roll palates and decide that the great Hammerhead was more aggro back in '93 at Connie's Lounge, where the bass ended up speared through the ceiling. To them, I say, "Blark."

This band maintains the crepitate energy of musical violence. Pretty fly for some old guys.

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