SKULL HAMMER, Fear the Truth (2008, self-released)
The skull leers with a sinister smile, a mouth fulla teeth. It’s hand-drawn by someone moderately talented and the hammer shape that frames the word “Hammer” is nice. There are umlauts over the “U” in skull so that you know how to pronounce it properly. It’s the choices of color I don’t get…blue, purple and various shades of yellow, with the logo colors nearing pastel shades. This brings down the potential metal-ness/wickedness of this cover. Sorry, not even that bad-ass lightning bolt can help. As Big Dumb Skulls go, though, this is a remarkable entry!
In the intro of this website (“About”), I noted we would be, among other things, trying to determine how the choice of a simple skull on an album cover correlates with the music inside. Is the skull making a statement, is it purposely playing on recognizable metal motifs, is it a lazy choice mirrored by equally lazy music? In Skull Hammer’s case, you get a boring-ass bunch of music with your skull. Their music is thrash, I guess…mid-paced to mildly fast, in some ways reminding of mid-period Overkill. But worse. “Groove thrash,” I guess you’d call it, but it doesn’t have the groove to make your booty move, and I have a hard time seriously calling it “thrash,” as there’s nothing intense or violent about it. Vocals are vanilla tough-guy style, and there is nothing remarkable about any of the riffs in any of these four songs on this mercifully short EP. For trivia seekers, the main dude in the band, vocalist/guitarist Steve “Ace” McArdle, used to be in Lethal Fury, who released two so-so (mostly “so?”) demos in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
— Friar Wagner