Press release for “Hammer Meets Fire” describes Maine (and currently, New York) based duo Victor Bravo as saviours of rock’n’roll. Judging by this record, saviours they ain’t – while they manage to avoid mistakes of a lot of new bands, this is also sounds like a record by a band in a desperate need of identity and something that would make them stand out from the crowd.
The sound resembles a multitude of things from more simplistic Nirvana / Husker Du sound to youthful vigor of Replacements / Ramones to rawer version of White Stripes. Granted, there’s not too many bands that are capable of pulling off that kind of sound without coming off as second-rate grunge imitators or overtly simplistic garage band. Yet, there’s still quite a few problems with the band’s approach.
Songwriting lacks any depth and most of the songs are very predictable – it might sound great in a live setting, but the record somehow fails to capture all of the band’s potential energy. On a plus side, you can’t help but bob your head to the beat of Nirvana-esque “Name Today”.
So if you’re looking for a varied dynamics and/or ballads and/or deep lyrics, you’re better off looking somewhere else. If primal sound of MC5 / Stooges and aforementioned bands is your thing, then its certainly worthy to give this CD a spin.