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I try not to gush when I wrote on Invisible Oranges, but in this instance I need to make an exception. If you’ve never listened to Hammers of Misfortune, then the time to rectify that is right this second. Stop listening to whatever it is you’re listening to, walk away from your workstation, go outside, pull up Spotify, pull up YouTube; I don’t care how you do it, but listen. Pick an album, any album, they’re all great (OK, maybe Fields/Church of Broken Glass isn’t the best place to begin, but it’s worth your time once the rest of their material has sunk in).

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

I know, right? This band punches so far above their weight that is ridiculous that they weren't playing in the bigger leagues when albums like The August Engine were new. In fact, maybe that’s part of the point. The core ethos of Hammers might be that of a blockbuster hard rock band in a 100-capacity nightclub package. Ridiculous monetary demands might strip away the details that make this band so special, the vaudevillian touches, the elastic song lengths, and especially the defiant anti-authoritarian streak that runs straight through the lyrics.

In fact, the majority of their new album Dead Revolution deal with the negative fallout of young money encroaching on the Hammers’ native San Francisco. That was true of their last album, 17th Street as well. So what’s new?

In two words: Will Carroll. The drummer of noise rock outfit Cutthroats 9 and a little thrash band called Death Angel brings a little more speed and danger to this record, and it makes a world of distance. 17th Street was beautiful, but in taking its time sacrificed some urgency. This time the music is as vitriolic as the lyrics. For example with its riotous opening riff, soaring solo and relatively howling vocal timbre, “Flying Alone” feels like a knowing throwback to the Bay Area thrash bands that precede it. This is the high-energy point of the Hammers’ most high-energy record.

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Dead Revolution will be released on July 22 via Metal Blade. Preorder it here. Follow Hammers of Misfortune on Facebook.

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