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Album Review of "Bring Down the Hammer"

Hardcore punk rock is a bit of an enigma.  While one can not help but be attracted to the raw energy and intensity of the genre as a whole, it can, and often does, feel stagnant at times.  “Bring down the Hammer” captures all of the fervor of it’s musical predecessors like Minor Threat and Bad Brains, while straying away from the entanglements that many of their musical heirs tend to get caught in. With the economic crisis deepening and millions out of necessity beginning to question the capitalist system itself, the feelings of immediacy and desperation that hardcore tends to evoke seem very concrete to many young workers and students.  Bring Down the Hammer puts these feelings to tremendous use with their new self-titled full-length available through Know Records [1]. The music itself is very dynamic, driven and at times reminiscent of Rancid’s 2000 album, energetically speaking.

The album’s opening, title track urges the listener to “bring down the hammer” and unite the workers against the ruling class and take the matter of deciding how their lives are run into their own hands.  The breakneck speed with which the music is performed is the perfect representation of how little time there is to waste, and how quickly the working masses must organize to free themselves from the constraints of the decaying system that is capitalism.  With songs such as “Lights out for the Dead” that denounce the conservative sting still felt by many from the civil war, Bring Down The Hammer makes it quite clear that it is time to bury the ghosts of wars past and focus on winning the class war that has been waged upon us for the last 240 years. The track “Never Give in, Never Give Up” demands the listener do exactly that and push onward in the fight for justice. They wind the album up with an interesting cover of the classic “The World Turned Upside Down” by Leon Rosselson, which centers on the struggle of the Diggers (or True Levellers) during the English Civil War in the mid-17th Century. This is a very timely album that should inspire any fan of the genre to join the fight for international socialism.

***Calling all musicians! Send us your CD for possible review in the pages of Socialist Appeal!***

Wellred
PO Box 18302
Minneapolis, MN 55418