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Bloody Hammers are a weird band. Ostensibly a rock-metal hybrid, the outfit also incorporate a whole lot of industrial elements and horror film homages. That description probably makes people think of Rob Zombie, and to be fair band mastermind Anders Manga has a Zombie-ish sort of ambition. Under his own moniker, he composes soundtracks to horror movies that don’t exist. Also like Zombie, Manga frequently collaborates with his wife, Devallia, who contributes synthesizers to each song. Underneath the kitsch, though, Manga has more in common with horror rock pioneer Roky Erickson. Each possesses a unique voice, solid guitar chops and a talent for legit pop song structures.

The band’s evolution has likewise been a little off-kilter. The second Bloody Hammers album, Under Satan’s Sun had a stoner metal trajectory to it, while last year’s Bloody Sort of Death doubled down on the industrial and pop elements. The Nine Inch Nails vibe took such hold that for a few weeks I privately investigated whether Manga was also behind my favorite—and highly recommended—underground industrial pop outfit in the US, The Ugly Façade (turns out he’s not).

The new Bloody Hammers EP, The Horrific Case of Bloody Hammers, streaming below, isn’t the hard downshift that last year’s LP was. Instead, the gothic and industrial overtones still take precedence, but songs like “Gates of Hell“ bring more riffage into focus.

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