Bloody Hammers – Spiritual Relics | Review

Back in the late 60s and early 70s, it was commonplace for a band to release a record every year, a band’s infancy would be dominated by the cyclical process of write, record, tour. Nowadays, it appears to be a much rarer occurrence.

It is then, with great surprise and adulation that Bloody Hammers, stoner rock’s brightest upstarts, release Spiritual Relics, their second album since forming last year. Yet, they don’t sound like a band taking their first baby steps; this is a band already in full stride. You’d be forgiven for assuming they’d been together for a decade. Their playing is tight, their song writing clever and mature. Each and every song on this record is lathered in irresistible, hip-shaking grooves and insanely catchy hooks and melodies. To have released a record this good so quickly after their self-titled debut – from which the initial hype is still rippling - is to be applauded. They have proved their worth once more and in majestic fashion.

From the fuzzy, crackling gallop of “What’s Haunting You”, which opens the album brilliantly, to the demented final flourish of “Science Fiction”, this record never leaves you enduring a dull moment.

Like with last year’s debut, it is an immensely diverse album full of twists and turns. Tracks like “The Transit Begins” and “Science Fiction” offer a distinctively different flavour to the album’s more up-beat, raucous tracks, with with brooding, haunting atmospheres. The latter boasts a beautiful acoustic guitar solo. Bloody Hammers possess a panache and musical aptitude that bands three times their age often dream of having.

Admittedly, it is a record that doesn’t quite grab you as instantaneously as their self-titled debut did, but at the same time, it doesn’t take you long to realise just how good this album is. They just seem to ooze that special something that makes a band more than just a band. Peppered with ingenious riffs, screaming organs, simplistic, pounding Sabbath-inspired drums and a generally excellent craftsmanship it sounds like a horror film. This is the musical equivalent to what a low-budget Hammer film is; haunting, but with an inherent sense of fun and light-heartedness.

Tracks like “The Source” and “Night of the Long Knives” will crawl into your head and refuse to leave.

The press have been championing this band for a while now and Spiritual Relics ensures those voices will not die down anytime soon.

Phil Weller 

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Phil Weller is a freelance writer with over 4 years experience of journalism under his belt. Having created pieces for the likes of BBC Radio 2 and reporting on the London 2012 Olympics, he began writing about the music he is passionate at the turn of the year. He and now writes for various sites including Planet Mosh, Manchester Rocks and Sludgelord. Follow his deluded ramblings @philipweller.