Hammer No More the Fingers (HNMTF) were a glaring omission in our Triangle of NC feature on the Paper Crane Collective last week. We heard it from fans of the band, “Where is Hammer No More the Fingers?!?” I’ll cop to it–I (Clif) never heard of them before!
Oh, the shock, the horror… right under my nose and everything. It happens… I don’t sit on my arse, though. I went out and immersed myself in this Durham band, a three-piece outfit that has flown under the radar for a while, but apparently not in NC (sorry– did I mention I am a transplant?). I am guessing their latest album, Black Shark, will go a long way to getting them national attention. It’s one of those albums that goes well with sunny weather, pools/beaches, cold beverages, and friends.
Released on April 5th on Church Key Records, Black Shark is a great example of how power pop has evolved. No one will accuse HNMTF of being too edgy or inaccessible. That stated, this trio can never be called “cheesy” or “derivative” either. Tracks like Your Nutrition is My Mission, Steam, and The Visitor are slow builds that pay off big. The Agency, Thunder ‘n’ Rain, Fingers, and It’s About Carin are examples of easy pop tracks that have enough of a groove to keep you moving. Leroy and The Shark are primo fun with power chords, big beats, and solid bass lines.
The knock on bands like Hammer No More The Fingers is that they are too easy going, too polished. Sometimes it’s nice to have a change-of-pace (especially when it’s well played), and that’s exactly what Black Shark offers. This is a solid indie pop album that you can queue up, hit repeat and enjoy.
Stream: Black Shark from Bandcamp
Purchase: Black Shark from Church Key Records