Model Citizen is the fourth album that the Ontario troupe of sludge savants, Hammerhands, have put out this summer. The fourth time they’ve thrown the book out and come back with yet another reincarnation of their version of sludge (perhaps best exemplified by their track, “Dad Sludge”). This time round, though, they lean more than ever into “Tom Waits-fronting-Melvins” vibe in terms of vocal work on display, while backing it up with the chops to deliver the best possible iteration of that definition.

Model Citizen (stream/purchased on Bandcamp) is a crushing album, and not least because of the heaviness the band are capable of. There is a far more sinister, borderline malicious attitude on display. Where on previous outings there have been moments of nihilistic stasis (Glaciers) or spaghetti Western musing (Largo Forte; our review of which can be read here), this time around the group have instead leaned into ominous vexation. Could it be the efforts the musicians have put into their band, or their careers, or their lives? Throughout the grinding, guttural vocals and guitar tone, there is the familiar feeling of disillusionment shared no doubt by their intended audience.

Whatever fly has managed to make its way into the soup of the band, it’s clear that it’s become a catalyst for a wider dispersion of fury and frustration, born from countless hours spent toiling in one of the most disheartening arenas of creative endeavour. The result, born of blood, sweat, and tears, is a product worth all the toil.

A full stream of the album Model Citizen. You’re welcome!

Model Citizen Track Listing:

01. Pleasure Island
02. MAXIMUM Beta
03. Do It Right
04. I’m Not Here
05. Too Many Rivers
06. Dad Sludge
07. That Awful Sound
08. Not In The Cards
09. Bastard Jesus

Run Time: 42:49
Release Date: July 18, 2019
Record Label: Self-Released