The trio with the tricky name released a live performance video of their song “Pink Worm” featuring neon, glow sticks and a strobe light. Middle School flashbacks abound, fitting in perfectly with the band’s quirky 90s throwback style. Let’s get spazzy.
Durham, N.C., is known for good bands, good BBQ and good(ish) politics—or shall we say better politics than the vast majority of the state. When you concentrate that much rad into a small triangle of cool (the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill triangle that is) good things are bound to occur. Case in point: Merge Records and the early 90s.
The overarching influence the bands on that label had on independent rock is still highly evident today. Twenty-two years later I still hear Archers of Loaf, Superchunk, Polvo, Redd Kross, Guv’ner, and Versus-influenced musical choices in most new bands I listen to.
There was something very unhinged about that Merge sound, as if all those bands decided hey, let’s not go “full Sonic Youth” here, let’s take that drive and noise and roll it away from the wall of sound and toward the path of off-kilter plucky guitarmonies and melodic vocal lines. And thus, the Merge sound was born. And who is keeping it alive? Durham’s Hammer No More The Fingers.
I’m not talking influence, I’m talking full-on tribute. The sound is alive and well in this band and in no way will it feel recycled, resourced, or reused. HNMTF have the keen ability to re-energize an old sound with a fresh take and boundless energy.
Formed in 2007, Duncan Webster (vocals, bass), Joe Hall (guitar, vocals) and Jeff Stickley (drums, vocals) have been tirelessly touring the eastern US and the UK, playing sold-out shows on either side of the pond. They were named the “Band to watch” by Stereogum and said to be “in the upper echelon of young, essential indie rock” by Grayson Currin from Pitchfork and SPIN. These accolades are fitting considering how well HNMTF are able to represent their roots whilst still providing new insights to a tried and true sound.
That said, it is “essential” that you “watch” this live performance video of “Pink Worm,” the title track from Hammer No More The Fingers’ forthcoming EP out on Churchkey Records. The video was recorded as a part of a series called Love Drunk where six videographers went on tour shooting live, one-take videos with bands across the eastern part of the US from May 4-20. This was day 12 of the 17-day tour.