I was expecting Some Heavy Hammer to be a hard rocking album by title, but Asheville, North Carolina’s Michael Burgin certainly does not disappoint despite my different expectations. On Burgin’s fourth solo album, he provides ten strong indie folk tunes that show that you can still be punk rock even if you aren’t amped and shouting.
At face value, Some Heavy Hammer is a folk album. It is a very raw folk album though. It was recorded entirely on analog equipment and has a much stripped down sound and feel.
Burgin is compared to artists like The Avett Brothers, Josh Ritter, and The Tallest Man On Earth, but I don’t really hear it so much on Some Heavy Hammer. I hear more of The Mountain Goats and Brian Fallon’s (of The Gaslight Anthem) stripped down recordings. There is a wonderful fervor and grit to this blue-collar sound that Burgin displays over eight original and two traditional tunes.
At times the songs on Some Heavy Hammer still have a more traditional, Dylanesque folk style (complete with some fitting harmonica), but I can’t help but think that a song like “Women” could come from a band like Social Distortion if it were plugged in with a full band. While many folky, dancey bands that include a stage full of people are drawing more attention of late, Burgin has made an impressive album that brings folk back to its bare bones with a punk rock sensibility that is reminiscent of what folk meant to the 60s while still having a modern edge.
Key Tracks: Some Heavy Drummer, Women, Burning Out
Kevin Kozel - Sr. MuzikReviews.com Staff
October 26, 2012