album reviews

Hammer No More the Fingers
Black Shark
Churchkey Records (2011)

Kindred spirits: Superchunk, Archers of Loaf, Weezer

North Carolina has long been the breeding ground for such indie-rock faves as Superchunk, Archers of Loaf and the Rosebuds.

Hammer No More the Fingers fits quite comfortably in that scene. The three members of the band grew up together in Durham, and the catchy, up-tempo sound that permeates the group's second LP, "Black Shark," is certainly reminiscent of its N.C. fore-rockers.

What the album has captured best is the band's energy. It's hard to sit still while listening and harder still not to crack a smile at the occasional spoken snarl of "shark!" in the background. The slithering bass line on "The Agency" propels the song through hummable melodies, while "The Visitor" takes a slower - but no less intense - approach as it simmers into an accelerating rumble.

The group does veer into the indie-rock cliche of nonsensical lyrics ("These fingernails don't think about themselves!"), but that's almost to be expected from a band with such a nonsensical name.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post: 1 April 2011
.: Black Shark on