Release date: 4th February 2022
Jack J. Hutchinson, –, Vocals/Guitar,
Lazarus Michaelides, -, Bass,
Felipe Amorim, – ,Drums,
1. Straight to Hell
2. The Hammer Falls
3. Down by The River
4. Angel of Death
6. Call of The Wild
8. The Ravens Crow
9. What Doesn’t Kill You (Only makes you stronger)
10. World on Fire
I last had the pleasure of reviewing an album by the mega talented Jack J Hutchinson back in late 2019 with the release of ‘Who Feeds the Wolf?’. Hutchinson, who is a first class live act has certainly not let the grass grow under his feet in the interim, if anything the past two years of lockdowns and uncertainty have only made him all the more prolific.
Having long since familiarised myself with the rather excellent musical back catalogue it was clear there was a winning formula and I was fully geared up for more of the same but this latest offering ‘The Hammer Falls’ due for release on 4th February 2022 is altogether more experimental, edgier, heavier and with a sound like Hutchinson is dipping his toe into something else entirely…
The hard rocking, guitar spiralling opening track ‘Straight to Hell’ is a most welcome, full throttle attack on the auricular senses. Title track ‘The Hammer Falls’ continues in the same vein with a fast paced, energy driven tune that left me wanting more of the same.
It nearly feels as if the album pauses to draw breath with melodic hiatus ‘Angel of Death’, a stunning musical and lyrical masterpiece and even this is peppered intermittently with elements of a heavier, dirtier guitar sound.
‘Gunslinger’, one of my undisputable top picks on this album of gems sounds like it could have been plucked from one of Hutchinson’s earlier albums. There’s a catchy familiarity about this track which makes for addictive listening and repeat play. Things turn a shade darker still with the ‘The Ravens Crow’, featuring almost sinister sporadic growling vocals and a sense of impending doom, this multi faceted treasure of a track is so far removed from what I was expecting on this album, it nearly sounds misplaced…nearly…
Musically, this release is a feast for the senses – eclectic, versatile, maybe even daring. Proof, if ever it was needed that no one will keep Jack in the box (I see what you did there Karen; Reviews Editor) – the blues box that is… The product of hugely talented musicians, Hutchinson is at the top of his game with this album and is quoted as saying “We’ve thrown everything but the kitchen sink at this record”.
– You’re not kidding Jack – it’s exceptional!
REVIEWER: Karen Hetherington