The Hammer Party
Providence veteran post punk, noise rockers are poised to destroy with the release of their new EP "Earth Abides". The Hammer Party returned to the studio fairly quick after the unexpected loss of original guitarist, Andy Newman (Glazed Baby), and having to follow Covid protocols. Despite these odds, the band found a former Providence native, Pete Berkowitz, to fill the vacancy left by Andy. Collectively they were able to document the intensity and raw power of the live band which is a perfect companion to their debut. Rick Pelletier (Six Finger Satellite, La Machine, Oceans of the Moon) appears courtesy of himself on sax for Walk the Walk. Earlier this year tragedy struck again which lead to new guitartist, Pete Berkowitz, to step down. Giving opportunity for Damien Puerini (Tall Teenagers, Song Birds, Revival Preachers) to take over as guitarist. Joe Propatier : Drums (Scarce, The Bevis Frond, Silver Apples) Dan St. Jacques : Vocals (Thee Hydrogen Terrors, LANDED, Vincebus Eruptum, Six Finger Satellite) Rick Pelletier : Sax (Walk The Walk) Justin Silvia : Bass Pete Berkowitz : Guitar (Die Theory) Recorded and mixed at Distorted Forest in North Smithfield, RI by Jared Mann. Mastered at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket, RI by Seth Manchester. Artwork layout for vinyl and CD by Josh Yelle.
"...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."
-Nick Odorizzi(Maximum Rock N Roll)
"There’s still those tight rhythms and blistering guitars, but new ideas are being incorporated. St. Jacques’ vocal delivery also fluctuates a bit within the EPs four tracks. At some points his singing sounds a bit grimey while at other points it’s straight up yelling while exuding serious angst. In its entirety, Earth Abides showcases excellent cohesion and syncopation within the songs."
-Rob Duguay(Pawtucket Times)
Some serious highs and lows as I settled into this album from Providence noise-rockers The Hammer Party. At first, I was delighted to realize that Dan St. Jacques (of Landed infamy) is the singer, but I was quickly saddened to learn that their guitarist Andy Newman passed away last November. Way too many of us dying! Regardless of whether or not The Hammer Party decide to move forward, Smashed Hits is a solid slab of ornery, blue-collar noise-rock, as gristly as the cover’s collage of torn flesh and broken glass. Their songs are repetitive and punchy, with primitive rhythms that replace groove with staccato bashing. There’s no denying the presence of early Swans in this sort of equation, but it reminds me even more of Landed’s later work (the less improvised, more song-based stuff) or fellow Providence scum-jockeys Snake Apartment. It’s certainly the perfect framework for St. Jacques’ mostly-human vocalizing – he sounds more and more like the monkey-troll-man he has tattooed on his chest, the sort of filthy creature who catches you after dark and forces you to answer a riddle about class politics before letting you pass. “Russian Collusion” is the one for me, with Newman’s guitar playing recalling both Andy Gill and Greg Ginn while St. Jacques tells it like it is in rhyming couplets. Friends and family of Newman should most certainly be proud.
-Matt Corvette(YELLOW GREEN RED March 2021) "Smashed Hits LP" review