Released: 2013, Horror Gore Pain Death Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
"Chug of war" is the first full length release by New Jersey's Hammer Fight, who describe their sound as "Thrash'n'roll". I would describe them as modern variation of the Motörhead sound, with more technical guitar work than, say, bands like Inepsy, who also play a style based on the same ingredients. There are also moments when the band adds a Stoner Metal feel to the precedings. Metal and Punk meet on this record, but the Metalside is more pronounced due to the many guitar solos and melodies. The Punk elements are evident in the rhythm section, though. Vocals sound like a rougher, more Death Metal influenced version of Lemmy's style. Although sometimes the mixture of these musical ingredients may not come out as effective, there are tracks where the band does manage to get it right.
The Motörhead-meets-Modern-Metal sound is evident in the first four tracks, with mixed results: album opener "Ruben's Ride" sounds too Groove Metal oriented on certain sections while the thrashier parts come off as a little generic. Punk-ish drum beats, along with technical guitar work and melodic vocals are mixed on "I Didn't Feel Like Drinking (Until I Started Drinking)". Even though the bass intro sounds great, the vocal work on this song can get annoying, as it is evident that the band is trying to sound catchy while retaining the dirtier Motörhead elements, and it just doesn't come together. On the next few tracks, however, the band manages to sound better: "DisasTOUR", "Foot Chase" and "Down The Line" are quite effective in terms of the band's attempt at capturing a Motörhead sound. "Sleeping With The Enemy" is a more Thrash Metal influenced number that begins with some acoustic guitar work leading up to a glorious opening with melodic guitar work that quickly shifts to some nasty Thrash Metal. I truly wish the band would've experimented more towards this direction, since they sound quite good when they go beyond the Rock & Roll mold and into more aggresive stuff. It actually came close to sounding like something Master would put out. The weirdly titled "Queer Eye For The Scene Guy" also sounds good, despite that song title. Still, the band goes back to the formula used on the first half of the album, which kinda brings it down a bit for me. Only "Hella Weights" manages to go back to the intensity of the more Thrash Metal inspired songs, before the album again reverts back to the rockish formula.
While the record is not a disastrous one, it is not a great one either: I believe that there is potential in this mixture of styles, but the band could narrow it down, and maybe work on some of the individual song arrangements. The first few songs on it didn't really work for me, yet as the album progressed, it seemed to get more interesting, but before you know it, the spark goes out again. There's a fair share of bands that play the Motörhead style with variations that make them stand out, and it seems to me that although Hammer Fight has the potential of fleshing out something original, but in order to do this,the band needs to sit down and analyze their sound, pick elements that go well together instead of throwing everything but the kitchen sink.
Review by Titus Isaac López