Saturday, 1 December 2012

Hank Wood and the Hammerheads - Go Home

What would The Mummies be like if their gimmick wasn't being incompetent revenant lounge-lizards of Karloff-pulp garage-snot, but being swing-first emotionally-stunted Noo Yawk assholes. Go Home is city beasts and contempt, spiking snare hits, revelling in subway graffiti and proclaiming Ground Zero Hardcore over burning towers on the back cover. This is 96 tears drawn from leathery bullies sticking knives into mortar, chanting murder and trouble amongst simple organ lines and surf meannesses. It's Hard On The Street is a tramp home where you drag yourself back from some shitty nightjob or bad bar letting the loathing and hatred of your sad traipse roll around inside of you and sharpen your step into a don't-fuck-with-me stalk that tries to grind its way through the asphalt and tarmac with each hated step. It's also got something of that tight crew face-in-the-camera backed-up shit with its little choral echoes of "FUCK THE STREET!". Don't Walk Away From Me rides its buzzy keyboard underruns from a little lumbering bug-beat into an urgent runaway downtown ride into the dankness and blight. This album is about those wormy twin feelings of city living, where you despise the alienation and industrial numbness of these human-factory farms ("I don't belong here." broods Snide...Petty...Fools) but also revel in the badass ice-eyed streetwise motherfuck-goddamn-superstar-Luke-Cage-fearless cynosure shitcun' cunt you cut yourself into in order to survive.

Most of the tracks have simple refrains that build and twist in on themselves, growling and snapping at you, twitching inwards and out with raw raw firehose power, like the song My House which consists almost entirely of the line "HEY YOU! GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!" like that point of utter dissolution in an argument that ends a party or relationship when you just hang on to one phrase repeating it with machine-malfunction rhythm again and again and a-fucking-gain to the slippery point of semantic satiation because its that now-or-never separation you need right now, not any sort of showdown, not any sort of explication of issues and history you just need the lonesomeness and you can't see anywhere, think of anything, but that repitition and the respite it seems to shape.

This whole record, from the clanking sewer-noise of its untitled track, to the redneck rumblings at the start of Bad Things which quickly devolving into another growling stompy scratching-at-the-seams mess, is a jittery uncomfortable grumble on urban rot and the Mega-City Dredd attitude it cultivates inside us that boots up against our smarts and dreams and failing stars and tussles there til we drown it with alcohol or cyborg drugs or abandon the fight, the blame and the corruption, for the quieter apocalypses of suburban blowjobs.

This is violent, stripped-down catchy-as-fuck garage-punk, all Lee Ving pose and Travis Bickle psychosis, Dee Dee anxiety and Hubert Selby Jr depravity, itching and twirling in its own rock and roll pissstains and spraypaint-hiss, culminating in genuinely fucking painful nasty rant on I Don't See Nothin' where the shitskein unravels and the plastered-on nihilism and worldfuck demeanor turns finally in itself in an comes apart shuddering with trypophobic reaction to the neurotic holes in ourself and our lives, screaming with hate and panicattack flames that burn themselves out into dry declarations of all-encompassing negative realities, as the album stumbles to an unhappy sobbing end amongst the clatter of drums, the dimming of the city's glamour and the taut keening of suicidal ideation and guitar feedback.

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