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Velvet Hammer


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Album Review

Velvet Hammer is one of the saddest, most heartbreaking records you will ever hear. It's soaked in tears and alcohol, punctuated with bruises and frostbitten fingers. Whether the songs of fractured relationships within are of romantic or familial nature, they sting with equally biting resonance. Marcy Mays is a mediator between mother and child on "Your Mother Wants to Know": "She wants you to like her so try to forget it/ And she's sorry for all the years and what happened to you when you were a kid." In "Take a Swing," she confronts an angered lover: "If you get me started, there's no telling what I'll do." She's stuck in an un-trusting rut in "Prize": "I get flowers/ I get suspicious, too." Throughout Velvet Hammer, the protagonist is at the end of her rope, struggling to find peace of mind amidst inner and outer turmoil. Though still sounding ragged and a little out of place in the studio, Steve Albini's raw engineering style is tailor-made for the band, especially for this stark material. New drummer Dana Marshall adds a creative instrumental spark, and it seems to have re-fueled his bandmates' creative juices. The closest touchstones with Velvet Hammer have to be American Music Club's Everclear and Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures, two other records that bleed with despair and grim reality. It's a blues record from the Midwest and an undeniable diamond in the rough, an unheard indie rock classic.

Customer Reviews

A Great Over Looked Band

Growing up in the mist of Grunge and Riot Grrl in the 90's was Scrawl a low-fi indie band, They were dismist in the mist off all the music that came in the 90's and don't take inconsideration the poor reviews on here with the bad recordings. If you know what "Indie" is about then you will not pass judgement on this incredible band. I have to say this is by far one of my favorite albums in my youth. Come on Steve Albini produced this album. Best songs on here are Prize, Tell Me Now, Boy, Take A Swing, Your Mother Wants To Know..

You know you went to Comfest to see Scrawl!

If you haven't heard these songs in a while and lost the CD, buy it. So worth the money. Rock solid, first song to last.

The sound of things falling apart

A huge record for me in college. I guess I probably drunkenly cried along with these songs more than a few times... The album title is perfect - jangly guitars over an emotional wrench in the gut. This record meant a lot to me, thank you for it.


Formed: 1985 in Columbus, OH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Long before the riot grrrl movement opened the floodgates for the widespread emergence of female artists in the male-dominated world of indie rock, the Columbus, OH-based trio Scrawl carved out their own tough-minded yet feminine niche within the underground community. Formed by singer/guitarist Marcy Mays, bassist Sue Harshe, and drummer Carolyn O'Leary, the group —originally dubbed "Skull" — debuted in the summer of 1985 by playing a 20-minute opening set for the Meat Puppets; with...
Full Bio
Velvet Hammer, Scrawl
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Customer Ratings