Hammered Hulls – “Rights And Reproduction”

Hammered Hulls – “Rights And Reproduction”

The DC band Hammered Hulls has only been around for a few years, but all of the group’s members are true lifers. You would almost certainly recognize Alec MacKaye as the guy with his head down on that one Minor Threat cover. Alec MacKaye also led some hugely influential DC hardcore bands — the Untouchables, Faith, Ignition — that go all the way back to the early ’80s. Axe wizard Mary Timony, who plays bass in Hammered Hulls, started out in the DC band Autoclave before becoming better known for her work in bands like Helium, Wild Flag, and Ex Hex, as well as her solo stuff. Guitarist Mark Cisneros has played with Des Demonas, Kid Congo Powers, and the Make Up. Drummer Chris Wilson used to be one of Ted Leo’s Pharmacists, and he’s now in Titus Andronicus.

Hammered Hulls got together and released their self-titled debut 7″ in 2019. The band was supposed to make a full-length album a long time ago, but the pandemic got in the way. They started work on that album before the pandemic and finished it last year. That album is called Careening, and it’s finally getting ready to come out. Alec’s brother Ian MacKaye produced the LP, and DC fixture Don Zientara mixed and mastered it at Inner Ear Studios, the legendary facility that finally shut down last year. In fact, Careening might be the last album ever to come out of Inner Ear. (At least, it might be the only album to come out of that incarnation of Inner Ear; Zientara has since opened another version of the studio in his basement.)

Today, Hammered Hulls have shared “Rights And Reproduction,” one of the songs from Careering. It’s awesome. You can hear a whole lot of punk history in the song, and Alec MacKaye’s voice still trembles with righteous fury. But the song doesn’t sound like anything that the members of the band have dome before, and the music twitches and lurches and growls with a vengeful inventiveness. I am really into this song. Below, listen to “Rights And Reproduction and check out the Careening tracklist and Hammered Hulls’ upcoming shows. The Hammered Hulls press release also has a quote from fellow DC lifer Guy Picciotto, so we may as well put that below, too.

Guy Picciotto says:

Alec MacKaye has been a source of inspiration to me since I was 15 years old when his bands the Untouchables and Faith made their massive crater-sized impacts on me. “Inspiration” doesn’t do it justice — in the chaos of his performance and the power of his voice, Alec was always to me the distant horizon of what any singer could aspire to be. It is surely the only debt you can incur that feels like a gift.

That he now continues to provide that same energy to me 42 years later with his band Hammered Hulls is not really a surprise, but it is wildly welcome. Mary Timony, Chris Wilson, and Mark Cisneros, three musicians of absurd pedigree, sensitivity and skill, create a weave that’s both tough and lithe, the ideal setting for Alec’s singular voice and words. Their new single “Rights and Reproduction” colonized my mind when I saw them play it live, and is now just as disruptive in its recorded form. A highwater mark has been redrawn. Hammered Hulls are for real.

01 “Boilermaker’s Notch”
02 “Hardest Road”
03 “Bog People”
04 “Pilot Light”
05 “Not Gone”
06 “Rights and Reproduction”
07 “Needlepoint Tiger”
08 “Staggering Genius”
09 “Abstract City
10 “Sounding The Sea”
11 “Written Word”
12 “Mission Statement”

11/05 – Washington, D.C. @ Black Cat
11/17 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
11/18 – Detroit, MI @ Third Man Records Cass Corridor
11/19 – Chicago, IL @ The Hideout
12/01 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
12/02 – Ridgewood, NY @ TV Eye

Careening is out 10/28 on Dischord Records.

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