Hackman – The New Normal

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Reviewed: January 2008
Released: 2007, Small Stone Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Astute fans of stoner rock will recall early Kyuss followers Roadsaw. The band made a brief impact in the ‘90s stoner scene before fading away into obscurity like so many others. Well, Darryl Sheppard survived his time in that band, and after toiling in several other bands over the years is making a return to the wider stages with Hackman. Furthermore, bassist Jase and drummer Todd come from the lauded Lamont whose grimy boogie deafened many an ear.
Clearly then, Hackman is a band with pedigree, and they don’t take long to prove it. Take one listen to “Packed Bat” and you’ll be hooked – this is old-school stoner rock riff-o-rama done up right. “The Anthem” follows with a slow-cooked boogie stomp, before the band says “fuck it” and proceeds to lay waste to everything in sight with the one-two punch of “You Can’t Ever Get What You Want” and “Chin Music”. Speed, groove, crushing heaviness, it’s all here. From there on out it’s a rip-roaring ride to the quiet, “Planet Caravan”-ish finish.
While Darryl Sheppard’s vocals are few and far between on here, making the album largely instrumental, the riffs are so good and so friggin’ catchy that you won’t even notice. Of course, my usual stoner rock beef applies here as well: too much repetition! Still, this is a minor quibble with an otherwise excellent disc. This may not be for everyone but those into this sound will have a new favourite band from 2007. Besides, how can you not love a band with a song called “I Don’t Need This Shit, I Played Budokan”?


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Track Listing:
1) Packed Bat
2) The Anthem
3) You Can’t Ever Get What You Want
4) Chin Music
5) I Don’t Need This Shit, I Played Budokan
6) Ababac
7) Fuck You, I Played Altamont

Darryl Sheppard: Guitars, Vocals
Jase Forney: Bass
Todd Bowman: Drums