The Rome, Italy-based Hellriders started delivering true metal in 2005 and issued a demo called First Gig: Blood. A search for a permanent dedicated singer yielded no fruit obligating Ricchard to hold on to his microphone duties. This was followed by Hello Motherfucker. The group was awarded a chance to open for Uli Jon Roth. The Hammer Nation album full-length came in 2010. Two years later the band and label issued a Strike EP and soon Strike live album. The Worst Of Hammer compilation commemorating the band’s tenth anniversary arrived in 2015. A single called No Reason was out in February 2017 and promised an album called Space Invader for that year as well.
HAMMER - STRIKE LIVE - LA RIOT SURVIVOR
What is most fun about this disc is the aesthetics surrounding it. The disc (CD) looks like a record (vinyl). The name of the label is a 'riot.' The album is as hard to find as anything on the scene. Musically, the singer sounds like Mickey Mouse after a few puffs and high on Jolt. The mid-song live banter is in Italian, but the lyrics are in English. My favourite? The soon-to-be-classic: One Is A Bitch, One Is A Witch. The music is like a subpar jam, but with a title like that structure is strictly secondary. Speaking of music think Venom-meets- Jetboy. Yes, Venom meets Jetboy. At one point mid-album the guitarist solos non-stop for two minutes. This band is crazed, but not necessarily crazy, so for some excessive heavy metal find this EP somewhere (good luck with that incidentally). - Anna Tergel
HAMMER – THE WORST OF… - RA PRODUCTION
It takes guts and a sense of humour to call your band’s compilation ‘the worst of,’ but that is precisely what the Italian trio has done displaying a couple of qualities most bands on the scene do not possess these days. Admittedly, it also takes smarts to name your album such if your music is not terribly good, which Hammer’s is not. Imagine if this were the best the act could produce. For now, the listener has hope that the band’s other songs – not compiled here – are better!
The Hammer trio is taking the piss out of its audience. That much is clear. Listen carefully and these boys can play. The bassist is good (Infernal Wave is a good instance), I Like To Play Saturday Night has a world-class heavy metal riff and Rock And Roll has world-class lyrics (and an AC/DC vibe). Then, however, comes the care-free marketing and image and a singer who makes the old Living Death singer’s wails sound steady in comparison. That his parents were banshees is certain. Then there are the guitar leads, which are serious and fully competent. There is an unreleased track here called Lost Control, with an impressive solo, a live version of the classic One Is A Bitch One Is A Witch and the obligatory cover version. – Ali “The Metallian”
HAMMER – NO REASON – LA RIOT SURVIVOR
One thing these three guys can never be accused of is languor. Hammer hammers its message of energy, frills, shrilly uber-Brian Johnson vocals, mad guitars and madder lyrics all night, every night. This EP features a studio track called No Reason with its shrill chorus, two live tracks from 2012 and a 2013 version of the classic One Is A Bitch, One Is A Witch, which of course refers to Maria and Sophia.
The band’s energetic and over-the-top music hints at AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, The Belgian Killer on Lost Control and Motörhead on occasion. The song No Reason is even more dangerous with the laser it shoots at the listener, while the two live recordings showcase a guitarist who goes into overdrive on stage and rips at 666kph per track. Ah, the days when metal was loud and brash… The band is supposed to have an album called Space Invader soon so let’s look for that. – Ali “The Metallian”