Review: Hackman – The New Normal

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Label: Small Stone Records

Released: May 29, 2007

The heavy sludge that is the principle ingredient in Hackman’s sound isn’t necessarily a hot commodity these days. In order to stand out, bands have to incorporate more than just a love for Black Sabbath and Hackman does just that. The album starts off slow and heavy, but doesn’t stay that way. It really opens up with “You Can’t Ever Get What You Want,” keeping the heaviness, but with a quicker, upbeat rhythm. From there, they dabble a bit in Helmet’s post-hardcore rhythms and even touch on the slow end of 80s thrash. The vocals are sparse, but they tend toward a hardcore growl that might be overbearing if they were as dominant as they are on everyone else’s albums. Hackman has the good sense to not let the vocals drive their sound, making what might be a weakness into a strength. On top of all this is a space rock freakiness that, though common in the stoner scene, adds yet another dimension. Hackman doesn’t cross their genre line, but they at least make it interesting.

Rating: 7/10

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About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

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