You may recognize Doc Hammer's name from the The Venture Bros., a show on Adult Swim he co-writes with Jackson Publick (aka Christopher McCulloch). But, what you may not know is that he's also a skilled painter and musician. In fact, Hammer has been a part of numerous bands including Mors Syphilitica, and Madison Strays. However, unlike those bands, Weep features Doc Hammer as a vocalist, as well as the band's guitarist. The band also includes members, Fred Macaraeg on bass, Alex Malfunction on keyboards, and Bill Kovalcikon on drums.
The band's first album, Never Ever, just released last week, but don't expect to find it in stores. The album is sold exclusively through Projekt.com, and will cost you roughly $8 plus shipping. The album ships in a cardboard sleeve that just fits the disc, of which is designed to look like a vinyl record, going so far as being made of black plastic. So while it may not be the greatest casing, the novelty is there. And being the first release from Astrobase Go Recordings, what more did you expect from a company run on retro awesomeness?
However, I'm here to discuss the music, so let's do that. The album contains eight tracks, and runs for a total of about 30 minutes, but despite that factor, it works well as each song offers something unique. Officially labeled as post-punk, and shoegaze, the tracks obviously have a dark feel to them; so if bubbly pop and/or hardcore thrash are you thing, I suggest you look the other way. However, for Doc's vocals, the dark tone and fuzzy sound, typical of shoegaze, works really well. It's not all dark though, "The Hole", the second track of the album is very lively with it's prominent keyboard sound throughout the song; and a track like "Ever Shy" has a nice mix of both dark and upbeat tunes. And yet, those are seemingly the opposite sound of the final track, "The Weep", and its very goth-like sound. None the less, the highlights of the album for me were "Lay There And Drown", "Su Promesa" (which actually reminded me of early Soundgarden when I heard it open), and as mentioned before, "Ever Shy".
But like most albums, it obviously sounds best when listened to as a whole. And being that it's sold exclusively online in CD format, it's not like you have the choice to not listen to it as a whole. But seriously, all of the albums eight tracks flow right into each other, as do the first and last tracks, so looping almost goes unnoticed. So if your in the need for something that's not mainstream, and dark, while not being too dark, take the chance and get this for the low price that it is. However, if dark and mellow isn't your thing, your loss. Personally, the fact that I can now take "Su Promesa" with me on the go and leave it on repeat is worth the price alone.
Overall Score - 8.7/10
You can buy Weep - Never Ever at Projekt.com
You can hear Weep at MySpace