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Album Review

As if to prove a point about their first album, 2007's The New Normal, not being the end result of a casual hookup which just so happened to be captured on tape (it was that spontaneous, for good and ill), Boston's Hackman wasted little time producing a follow-up in the curiously named Enterprises. More significantly, the predominantly instrumental power trio — vocals do crop up, but sparingly and often indistinctly — managed this quick turnaround after only recently taking on a new drummer (the one-named Owen), also bringing on producer Andrew Schneider (Unsane, Pelican, etc.) to help out on what ultimately amounted to a much more interesting collection of songs. These songs broke down pretty evenly into the familiar and unfamiliar, in contrast with that first album. On the one hand, recognizably hypno-riffed escapades like opener "Panama," the stutter-paced "Bludge," and the first half of "'War Gong" (the second is made up of ghostly feedback) recalled instrumental stoner legends Karma to Burn, minus the creepy Deliverance vibes; on the other, stylistic detours ranged from the mournful acoustic reverie of "End of Men" and swirling chimes of "C'est la Mort" to the Southern-flavored doom grooves of "Tragedian." Of the cuts graced with actual vocals, the sludgy "Monoceros" showcased forceful but mostly unintelligibly hoarse shrieks from main man Darryl Sheppard, while the altogether brief "Not Anymore and Never Again" came off like twisted hardcore, and the uncommonly intense "Number Eight, No Bullet" was as close as Hackman got to composing a conventional "song" (albeit a pretty scary one). Finally, there was the extended rumination of "March into Victory," which, at over ten minutes in length, simply spun its wheels a little too long before getting to the interesting bits, comprised of mysterious (but effective) mumbling over slow-strummed, warped arpeggios. On the whole, though, Hackman took a major step forward with the greater diversity and inspiration to be found on Enterprises, likely meaning that they'll have a lot less to prove with their third album.


Formed: 2005 in Boston, MA

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '00s

Hailing from Boston, MA, Hackman are a post-stoner rock power trio comprised of local scene veterans Darryl Sheppard (guitar, occasional vocals, ex-Milligram and Roadsaw), Jase Forney (bass, trumpet, ex-Lamont), and Todd Bowman (drums, also ex-Lamont). Together as Hackman since 2005, the band recorded its mostly instrumental debut, The New...
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Enterprises, Hackman
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