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HAMMER NO MORE THE FINGERS

by Ryan Snyder

— Pink Worm

It’s gotten to the point where a subpar release from Durham rock trio Hammer No More the Fingers would be a first. After four full-lengths and a new EP Pink Worm of being consistently pretty darn good, they’re essentially a known quantity. So why do they continue to surprise with every release? One of the most endearing qualities about Hammer No More the Fingers is that they restlessly explore new sounds to inject into their rock-solid foundation of guitar, bass and drums with such a subtlety that it’s almost always unexpected. The bed of strings on Black Shark’s “Thunder n’ Rain” made for great watercooler talk, and on Pink Worm, they manage to squeeze a revelation or two into five short tracks. “Kilowave” channels the strident punk-funk bass of Fugazi’s Red Medicine, while also finding a home for Zapp-inspired synths. Similarly incongruous, the title track shifts from beachy vocal harmonies to a math-rock bridge without lingering long enough to say, “What the hell?” In the world of Hammer No More the Fingers, nothing’s ever overdone, usually right on time and aimed to please.

78/100

Hammer No More the Fingers will perform at WalkerFEST on Saturday.

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