I love reviewing, absolutely love it. It’s hard wading through what can sometimes feel like piles of generic music; these days, so much stuff just sounds the same and it gets tedious, not least because there are only so many ways that you can describe something that is an utter pile of dross.

Every so often, however, something comes along that piques your interest. You open the file to listen to the first song and what you hear makes your ears prick up, your heart beat that little bit faster and you experience that lovely feeling of having found something “new” – something worth your time and effort.

Hammerjack’s eponymously titled second EP is that something “new”. My heart sang when I listened to it all the way through, because this…this is what rock music should be about. It’s a balls out, good old fashioned four track slab of fun rock and roll. This awesome foursome from Guildford have created a gem in the pile of manure, a shining beacon of hope on a foggy morning … you get the idea! Let’s look at it further…

First track “I Can’t Change” (also the first video) begins with some nice guitar work, going into some bratty riffs and some old-school smoky-voiced vocals. This is good time rock at its finest and I rather expected to see the band glammed up in the video (it was rather disappointing to see them in standard jeans and t-shirts).

Once you’ve got over the party atmosphere of that track (and it WILL stick in your head, probably for weeks afterwards), you have the fine stylings of “Going Down Again”; six parts ballad and four parts mayhem. The lyrics aren’t particularly thought provoking, but it features some fine musicianship and some vocalising worthy of the 80’s. It doesn’t sound particularly polished, but that, I think, is part of the appeal. It’s raw, it’s dirty and I can imagine a packed pub or club audience drinking it up along with their pints.

Third track “Take It All” (love the title – it’s sleazy and glam rock tongue in cheek) is also awesome; there is some solid riff work in the middle of the song. However, it is the last track “More Than Nothing” that really got me excited about this band. It features a cheeky little bit of slide guitar and it’s bang on trend at present as it will appeal to fans of bands such as The Cadillac Three and others of that genre; it seems to be popular at the moment for bands to have that element of “country” running through their music, although this track is certainly not country. Sharpy’s vocals are not razor sharp on this one, but part of the appeal is the energy of the track.


Another surprise is that when you think the track has finished, if you leave it playing, you get a thoughtful, acoustic version of the same song. Nicely done and a great idea.

Basically, this is the sort of EP that will have fans at your average gig baying for more; I can imagine that the songs translate well to the live environment and certainly nobody is going to fall asleep at a Hammerjack gig. It could be more polished, it could be tighter on the vocals, but I get the sort of frisson listening to this that I used to get from going to see good, local bands in my late teens and early 20’s – you just know that at some point, someone is going to light the touch paper for this as-yet unsigned band and the whole thing will explode.

Track listing
I Can’t Change
Going Down Again
Take It All
More Than Nothing

Vocals – Sharpy
Guitar – Korush
Drums – Shane
Bass – Jack


Words by Vikkie Richmond.

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