Hank Wood and the Hammerheads - Use Me [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)

Hank Wood and the Hammerheads

Use Me [7-inch] (2020)

Toxic State Records

Two years removed from their brilliant and highly touted self-titled full length, the spastic New Yawkers are back to toss your brain in a blender and leave your body strained and contorted. Knowing there were herds of feral animals out there with a growing appetite for more, they threw out some chum in the form of last year’s middle-finger raising HEADS cassingle to temporarily satisfy those cravings. Now, Use Me is here for the ravaging; rotten and raw, ready for consumption.

The thing with a Hank Wood and the Hammerheads record is that you always know what you’re going to get. And what that is, is that you never know exactly what you’re going to get. Their brash of filthy rock n’ roll smashes together shifty and soulful melodies with 70s-style proto-punk that draws the type of reaction where you don’t really know how to react. You’re already joyfully convulsing and violently swaying before you can even digest it.

“Look at You” opens Side A with easy twangs and a pounding bass line, but just as you would expect, the unexpected happens and you’re launched into a rowdy, authoritative ripper. Hank delivers a crude, condescending snarl as he repeats “Nobody understands you” and
Just look at you” both separately and collectively throughout. “Strangers” intros like a going-through-the-motions lounge act is on stage but is quickly pumped with emotion and transformed into a mid-tempo hip-swinger full of provocative “uh’s” and swervy riffs.

The record flips and the keys come to prominence, carrying the garage-rocky edge of “Tonight.” It charges ahead erratically while staying on-track, rocking back and forth between hopeful promise and a procrastinator's anger, (“Tomorrow’s gonna turn my life around / Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow/ Tomorrow, I’ll do it tomorrow.”) It comes to a screeching halt and you’re sprung into a spine-shifting rhythmic groove with “Use Me.” Trippy with a little bit of surf to it, the danceable jam dilutes the thrusty punk and brings their funk inspiration to the forefront. The title track leaves you wigging and flailing through the dependencies of a toxic relationship.

You’ll come out of a Use Me sweaty and sore just like you would from a show in a cramped Brooklyn basement. Once again, Hank Wood and the Hammerheads prove they can manufacture the ruckus and steamy energy from their live performance into record form.