Friday, March 27, 2009

Hackman - Enterprises

Small Stone

Led by guitarist Darryl Sheppard, late of Boston’s Milligram and currently a utility guitarist in Roadsaw, Hackman pays homage to the almighty Riff. (Hence the band’s MySpace handle being “hackmanriffs.”) With few vocals to get in the way, Sheppard and his rhythm section just let fly with crunchy, fudgy guitar licks – even solos are few and far between. On the one hand, it’s refreshing to hear this kind of hard rock boiled down to its essence – it’s the riffs we tune in to this stuff to hear, after all, and Sheppard plays ‘em like he was born to do it. On the other hand, several of these songs sound more like sketches, meant to be fleshed out later on, and in that sense I don’t know if stoner rock really needs its own Guided By Voices. But this album has given the world Bludge, as fine an example of what makes stoner rock endure as anything, and it’s sure to be a favorite of woodshedders everywhere. (Yes, kids, there was interactivity before CD-ROMs).

- Michael Toland

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