Hammer, Water, Head and Space
How can a song sound smooth and aggressive at the same time? Well, combine a multifaceted guitar play and a powerful, but very precisely mastered drum set. In other words, combine Vince Cuneo and Jessamyn Violet. Since 2018, the two musicians from Venice, California are merging their instrumental skills in the combo project Movie Club. Together they create a sound that doesn’t require lyrics, doesn’t even try to imitate lyrics, and communicates urgency and debt in a way that words are sometimes not capable of.
After Kraken, Hammerhead is the second EP publication by the Minimalist Duo. Movie Club describe their style as Surf Hop. And just like the first release, Hammerhead finds inspiration under water. While the sea monster Kraken is a legendary creature in Scandinavian folklore, hammerhead sharks roam along the coasts of the southern hemisphere today, and for real.
The first song on the EP is Navy Seal. Without any ado, the song dives into racy riffs and the logic of the song reminds of Dick Dale’s legendary Miserlou. Not surprising, as the single “was written as a tribute to the surf guitar hero…”, explains the band. The long smeared guitar riffs, which Dick used to imitate the movements of the ocean, are mostly responsible for that. Vince Cuneo’s guitar is the playful counterpart to Jessamyn’s disciplined beat, which she only interrupts for some crackling cymbal fireworks.
Following Navy Seal, the listener finds four more songs on the new release. Every song is another chapter in the story of the Hammerhead maneuvering through water.
Movie Club’s finesse creates creative space in the listener’s mind; it is more than pure entertainment. An extended play record serves as a great medium for their tracks, as they build a musical short story. This storyline requires and deserves to be observed without distraction. Hammerhead is for real and more of the good stuff. Allow yourself not just to listen, but to tune and dive in.
Review by Magdalena Buchwald.