Released: 2009, Small Stone Records
ENTERPRISES is the second time around for ex-Roadsaw man Darryl Sheppard and co. under the Hackman guise, their first since 2007’s THE NEW NORMAL. Fuzzy, instrumental stoner metal is the order of the day, with an order of small vocals on the side.
Despite my intolerance for instrumental albums, I quite liked the band’s last album as they got right to the point and battered you with riff after riff, almost daring you to try and look away. And, try as you might, it was not possible. Sure enough, ENTERPRISE starts off where its predecessor left off, as “Panama” is a wicked little kick in the balls of roiling riffs that any stoner would be proud to call his own. Interest successfully peaked, Hackman proceed to hammer away at your defences for the better part of an hour, taking all kinds of twists and turns. “Monoceros”, “Number Eight, No Bullet”, “Not Anymore and Never Again”; these songs just roll over you like freight trains. All is well with the world.
Unfortunately, this album suffers from what I call Planet Caravanitis. In other words, a whole lot of aimless dicking around in the name of atmosphere. Approximately half of these tunes are either too long or consist of quiet, introspective nothingness (“End of Men” & “C’est La Mort”). I mean yeah, these guys are talented – no doubt – but the writing seems to have taken a bit of a step back on this one.
Then again, keep in mind the source here – I typically can’t stand instrumental albums, so the fact that I’ve listened to this album many times is probably a testament to how good it actually is. Regardless, Hackman are worth a listen for any fan of stoner rock.