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Hammer No More The Fingers vs. Voo

Neither overwhelming nor underwhelming.

Split EPs are rarely a good showcase for two bands’ talents and this, sadly, is true of ‘Hammer No More The Fingers vs. Voo’. Aside from the slightly odd pairing (given that one of these bands is from North Carolina; one from Liverpool), this isn’t a particularly bad collection, but there’s not a great deal to recommend it. It is neither overwhelming nor underwhelming. It is, regardless of whether such a word exists, just utterly whelming.

HNMTF are the real disappointment here, failing to live up to their earlier brilliance displayed in songs like ‘Radiation’ and ‘Automobiles’. Duncan Webster’s voice strains a little too much at times on their contributions ‘Blanko Basnet’ and ‘Star Taste’, a pair of slightly discordant songs employing an almost post-punk sound that seemed to be big about a decade ago. ‘Here’s the cabbage! Where’s the onion?!’ Webster screams at one point. Arguably the greatest lyrics since Des’ree’s ‘Life’ (‘I don’t want to see a ghost / It’s a sight that I fear most / I’d rather have a piece of toast.’) If there’s one final thing to cement the general lack of pleasure gained by listening to these tracks, it’s how the discomforting, paranoia-inducing whispery voices at the end of ‘Blanko Basnet’. This is not recommended to anyone in the grips of psychosis, or anyone wishing to avoid it.

Voo, the other half of this collaboration, have chipped in a decent instrumental called ‘Schnick Schnack Schnuck’ and another track that’s actually quite excellent. Sounding a little like Hope Of The States, the guitar led ‘Pages’ carries an inexplicable charm, building to a heavy climax. Singer Graham Jones’s vocals are soft, sweet, but above all, inoffensive - and this can be used to describe the EP in general. Both bands should stick to focusing on making their own albums, because they can do a lot better than this chunk of mediocrity.

Tags: Voo, Reviews, EP Reviews

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