Hammertorch--the most legit alt-country five-piece to come out of Murfreesboro since you-know-who (rhymes with Flossary)--have just finished a brand-new record called Lions Don't Cry, and they're celebrating its release at The 5 Spot tomorrow evening. Also playing are Chris Crofton and the Alcohol Stuntband--last seen kicking ass unironically on Monday night--as well as Eric Zarycki and the Persuasion. I gave the record a spin and wrote up a little Critic's Pick:
Sometimes Hammertorch crank out the type of driving, blue-collar alt-country--saturated with influences from the Stones to Gram Parsons--that most native Tennesseans might find perfectly familiar. The pounding barroom piano, colossal drum sounds and melancholic vocals of songs like "Breakneck Speed" are of an elusively enjoyable and smart Southern-rock ilk. But it's tunes like "Cemetery Dance"--with its entrancing steel-guitar hook and astonishingly appropriate disco beat--that let you know these dudes are truly onto something. "Too Little Too Late" is an epic, echoing ballad just a generation removed from Crazy Horse or The Band, while "Roger McFadden's Danger Society" bursts into riffy interludes so sharply played that we're tempted to call them "Countrytallica."
Read the rest here. Hammertorch will also be doing a Murfreesboro record release at Wall Street on Aug. 1 with All We Seabees & The Bohannons. Have a listen to "Cemetery Dance" below.
And in the interest of fairness, I thought I'd mention that locals Umbrella Tree will also be playing a record release tomorrow evening. Well, technically it's a CD/DVD release. It's at Mercy Lounge, and you can read Jewly Hight's feature on Umbrella Tree here. Local records. Buy 'em.