Claw Hammer

Claw Hammer

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This is Claw Hammer's exceptionally demented debut record, which may not be easy to find, but is well-worth the effort. Renowned for their frenzied live shows and superior musicianship, Claw Hammer later went on to sign with Interscope and Epitaph and released some far-out, kind of avant-garde rock records which were not big hits. Some might consider those their best records, while others might prefer the more punked-up tunes on their debut record. As far as cohesive songwriting and wild guitar-slinging, their self-titled debut cannot be beat. Singer/guitarist Jon Wahl howls in his unique, strangled-farm-boy-type voice, while lead guitarist Chris Bagarozzi rips through the blues scales at a breakneck speed. There are some fairly lengthy opuses -- "Warm Spring Night" and "Hey Old Lady and Bert's Song" -- which swerve this way and that and rock like all get out. But every song is impressive. This marks a stunning debut from the mostly unsung Claw Hammer, who is one of L.A.'s great underground rock bands.

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