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Out Now

Words by Jimmy Glinster

Everyone in the Australian music scene knows Lucas Stone, or at least they should by now. The former frontman of Helm, and current guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for Hammers is one of the hardest working musos in the South-East Qld music scene – if not the Australian music scene. He’s also a top bloke, and he doesn’t mind the odd Facebook rant reminding us all to keep our lives in perspective, and look after each other, and to just generally be a good c#@t. Well, he may not use that last word, but that’s how it comes across.

And being the top bloke he is, he’s also managed to bring together a heap of other top blokes from the South-East Queensland and Australian Heavy Music scene. These bunch of legends include Colin Jeffs of Aversions Crown, Leigh Dowling of HAMMERS, Nathan Wyner of A Secret Death, Dario Lagana of HAMMERS & HELM (more about that later), Mick Jeffrey of Aversions Crown, Simon Reys of Scalene, Sam Vallen of Caligula’s Horse, and Jason Brown of Sunk Loto. Yeah, that was a bit of a name-drop, but it is what it is. Now it’s time to see how this EP is, but first, you should all jump on YouTube and check out Dario Laganas’ audition video for Hammers. It will be the best 5 mins of your life, guaranteed.

The opening track Carry The Black starts with Stoney’s gravelly vocals over some dirty strumming guitar. Drums start thumping in the background, and you can tell the track is about to get a little more serious. As he brings chaos, his vocals open up to melodic wails, and the rhythm of the song takes on a solid groove. To me, this one has Helm written all over it. The calls of “I bring chaos” have a massive guttural depth to them, and I’m not sure if this is Lucas or one of his many guest vocalists who appear across the EP. At this point, I really wish I had the information regarding the guest appearances, but I don’t, so I’m going to have to play it a little safe. There may have even been another guest vocalist at the end of the track, but maybe it’s just Stoney?

Cross My Heart opens with a bit more of an up-tempo rock vibe. It then pulls back to a mellowed-out drumbeat and rung-out guitars that act as a rough underlay to a silky smooth vocal performance. Think of the feeling of rain running over gogoosebumps,osebumps and that’s the kind of vibe it gives off. The song cruises along like this for a couple of minutes before it soars with heightened vocals and melodic guitar patterns and then into a rocking yet awkward riff pattern which pulls you in due to its unique groove. The track continues to bounce on and further elevate in heaviness, groove and melody. That combination is hard to pull off, but Stoney nails it on this one!

A simple rhythmic guitar strumming pattern lays the foundation for Deathbed (A-OK) which continues until the drums and vocals join in for the ride. It really is a simple but effective formula that drags you in and keeps you rocking your head until the song shifts to a more open, melodic vibe. Not long after, the track then takes a heavier turn, and I’m pretty sure one of those guest vocalists jumps in for the fun. The guitar riff and thumping drum kick patterns in the heavy parts are grooving and catchy as fuck, and the song just keeps delivering with an intense breakdown that feels like complete doom.

This next one Old Horse, New Town is a bit heavy once it finds its feet. And again, I feel there is another guest spot happening here. It doesn’t stay heavy for ever though, but it also doesn’t get light, it just gets a bit more spacious and a little darker even though the vocal performance is again silky smooth. The song plays out a few twists and turns, jumping between the slower dark moments, and super heavy moments. And I don’t mean Heavy as in fast or technical, but just heavy in overall tone. This is not a metal EP as such, it just Heavy rock, Heavy, Heavy Rock.

Ok, this one titled Portent could most definitely be classified as Metal. Well, at least that intro, because that was heavy as fuck! What follow’s though is a combination of continued heavy riffs integrated with another soaring vocal performance, and possibly another guest vocalist, or at least someone doing back-ups. I can’t quite pick what the middle of this song sounds like, but it has a very familiar sound and tone to it. Maybe it’s reminiscent of Helm, or maybe just something else from the mid to late naughties, with its heavy down-tuned guitars and melodic vocals that combined create a feeling of distress. Ooft, that breakdown. How low can you go?

And that was a big end to a big EP. It’s a shame it’s not an entire album though because I could have done with another few songs. I guess I’m just going to have to wait, as are you once you get your copy of this killer EP!

Get it, get amongst it and get about it!

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