Hammok - Jumping/Dancing/Fighting EP Music Album Reviews

Hammok - Jumping/Dancing/Fighting EP Music Album Reviews
With a menacing sound and bleak but playful lyrics, the Norwegian noise-rock trio stands out from the pack on its debut EP.

Browse the tourism website for Oslo, Norway and the capital presents itself as a vibrant panorama of pastel storefronts, fjordside dining, and sleek modern architecture nestled between snow-capped mountains. In the eyes of local noise rock trio Hammok, though, the city takes on a gloomy facade–a contrast long documented by the country’s black metal starter pack. Jumping/Dancing/Fighting, their debut EP, suggests the best way to get through the woods is by throwing punches and busting moves, no matter how idyllic the scenery around you is. In just under 20 minutes, Hammok present their case for nihilism as peace of mind, letting searing guitars riffs and combative drumming replicate the sensation; the louder the wall of sound, the less there is to feel. 

Singer-guitarist Tobias Osland and drummer Ferdinand Aasheim are childhood friends who spent the past decade playing in numerous projects together. They started Hammok during lockdown in early 2020 at the age of 22. Alongside bassist Ole Benjamin Thomassen, they snuck off to their studio for daily songwriting sessions to cope with the isolation. While an eerie silence enveloped the world, Hammok defined their own menacing sound as a band raging from within: needling guitar runs anchored by foreboding power chords, basslines pummeling the very fuzz pedals they’re filtered through, and kick drum that triples in speed only to be swallowed by crashing cymbals and tom fills. The fury on display in Jumping/Dancing/Fighting brings to mind the sheer volume of Unsane and the tonal sprightliness of the Fall of Troy.

What makes Hammok’s debut EP stand out among the relatively straightforward field of noise rock is their clever interplay between music and lyrics. The band elevates the genre as a vehicle for lending weight to confessional thoughts by also offering solutions, however bleak they may be. “It’s okay to be dead inside/Just feel around,” Osland yells on “J/D/F,” as if the secret to beating depression is finding a cozy spot to curl up in its endless caverns. Come the song’s end, he snakes a new guitar riff through reverb, its major chord relief offering a tangible sense of hope. On “Contrapoint,” Hammok deliver a pop commandment—dance the pain away—with cathartic, blood-curdling screams. “It’s the only point for me to prove/That it’s all for nothing,” growls Osland, his clean enunciation and surprising pitch echoing that of Touché Amoré singer Jeremy Bolm. Even the disjointed piano notes that open “Smile,” a comparatively tame number about the pitfalls of social media, act as a centering point when the whirr of stressors in the lyrics overwhelm. These moments indicate how Hammok reach beyond the genre’s simple formula—write the heaviest riffs possible, turn up the distortion, play loud—in search of a more memorable and haunting effect.

With all but two of its songs clocking in around the two-minute mark, Jumping/Dancing/Fighting is a robust, unified collection that flies by, in part thanks to the band’s own Osland juggling producer duties with a keen eye for clarity and tension. On first listen, it almost feels like a fever dream: a sudden, chaotic spiral that clouds your view before abruptly dissipating with “Outro.” In reality, Jumping/Dancing/Fighting is a polished introduction that posits Hammok not merely as noise-rock newcomers, but also erudite students of the genre who hit the ground running.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Hammok - Jumping/Dancing/Fighting EP Music Album Reviews Hammok - Jumping/Dancing/Fighting EP Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on January 06, 2023 Rating: 5


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