On Our Radar: Hammertorch - Lions Don't Cry

It’s a countrified sound, a truly American twang delightfully merged with rock and roll.  When I hear Hammertorch, a picture pops into my head – illustrating their sound.  Take a mental walk with me if you will, and picture this: we casually stroll into a saloon – not an old timey saloon from the Old West, but a fancier place that says “saloon” on the outside, but on the inside has nice tables, lush padding on the stools, and is regularly visited by the upper echelon.  Sitting at the bar is our former President in Chief, casually puffing on a cigar – and, after some country music comes on, does a fancy little dance – just like those little gif’s your friends always email you with – it’s a goofball dance both arms at right angles, going up and down and back and forth, and his legs taking turns supporting his body  – think of that hilarious Russian dance your friends like to do when their drunk –which consistently results in them falling and you laughing.   Ok, so where is this going?  Hammertorch doesn’t take itself too seriously, but, unwillingly, the music always gives you pause.  It makes you stop and say, there is something magically deep to this fun music – there are secrets lying in wait that we have yet to discover.  The discovery to which you are searching is the overarching quality of musicianship and songwriting.  These guys are steeped in the knowledge of those who came before them; and certainly indulge their influences – but are not so pretentious that they aren’t above ordering a domestic beer and calling the barkeep “darlin’”.  See; they are immediately lovable and affable –but underneath the soft exterior lies some darker meaning – some sinister truth, and some painful loss.  Once you can get past the name, and the album cover, you’ll find a nice little gem, sitting proudly, displaying it’s roots and not falling, like so many others into the “alt-country – I’m a singer/songwriter who wants to be like Wilco so bad I recruited an upright bassist , a violinist, and a lap steel player to augment my amateur acoustic guitar playing”.  Instead, Hammertorch is more of a rock band with a little bit of twang in their step – not as pop as Kings of Leon; but they are certainly on their way.  I highly recommend “Too Little Too Late” for all your ears.

Jason Petros