Influences: HAMMERHEDD

Kansas City fraternal metal trio Hammerhedd has self-released the new album Nonetheless on February 24. The band’s sophomore album, Nonetheless is a mighty successor to their 2020 debut Grand Currents, and features the singles “Tunnel,” “Fruition,” and “Pioneer To Be.”

Abe quit baseball, Eli quit his after-school job, and Henry dropped out of college. The three Ismert brothers who make up Hammerhedd have a natural gift and a greater calling. These metal-minded Midwesterners from Kansas City are mostly too young to get served at the venues they slay, but you wouldn’t know it to hear their music. Drawing comparisons to contemporaries like Gojira, Meshuggah, and Mastodon, Hammerhedd blends heavy genres into a perfect sludge of driving rhythms, brutal distortion, and just a tinge of melodic mischief.


Henry’s Influential Songs:

Rush: “La Villa Strangiato”

This is the greatest instrumental rock song ever created. It is the perfect song in so many ways. It’s wildly innovative, the songwriting is world class, and the performances are an absolute joy to listen to. It contains not one but two of the greatest solos ever by the great Alex Lifeson, flawless technical and tasteful drumming by the Professor, and some of Geddy’s sickest grooves/riffs. Just a masterpiece from beginning to end. It is our hope that one day we can play a cover of this song that comes anywhere close to doing it justice. 

Audioslave: “Bring ‘Em Back Alive”

One of my all-time favorite songs from one of my all-time favorite albums! Amazing intro that builds to a huge riff, that then gives way to a dirty groove. This song really showcases how awesome Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk are. They’re one of my favorite rhythm sections ever. They are so deep in the pocket it’s insane. Tom Morello is also his usual genius self—his riffs and crazy unique soloing really shine here. The song is topped off by Chris Cornell, one of my favorite singers ever. The ease with which he can sing, scream, and mix the two is almost unfair. His range is inhuman and his vocal melodies are captivating. This song has been a huge influence on my playing and writing since I first heard it when I was 12!

Led Zeppelin: “How Many More Times” 

Possibly my favorite Zeppelin song, although that can be said for about 15-20 of their songs. I love the jammy feel of it. JPJ’s groovy bassline and John Bonham’s thunderous drumming are infatuating. Jimmy Page’s riffs and bluesy soloing are some of my favorite guitar parts of all time. This era of the band was so cool and fun to listen to. Robert Plant is at his very best on this song, especially around the end, coming out of the breakdown/solo section. His massive low to high scream to reintroduce the main riff at the end of the song never gets old either. One of Zeppelin’s masterpieces!

Grateful Dead: ”Ramble On Rose (Live in Europe ’72)”

The Dead are geniuses, and this song is one the best showcases of that. I challenge any guitar player to learn to play the chord changes in this song while singing it. Jerry makes it look easy ,but it’s not. He also has a simple yet amazing solo that I frantically learned the day I heard it. I could also listen to the chorus of this song forever. Amazing!

Morphine: “Buen”

Morphine is an awesome band that isn’t talked about nearly enough. This is one of the grooviest, meanest, dirtiest songs I’ve ever heard. The odd trio combination of sax, bass, and drums make for such a cool sound, and Mark Sandman’s unique voice is so badass. Must listen.

Wilco: “Poor Places”

Everyone knows Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is an amazing album, and it’s hard to pick my favorite off of it. “Poor Places” is my current favorite. It’s creepy, ethereal, and amazing. Jeff Tweedy’s voice is so unique and cool, and it works super well for this song. When the chorus comes in about halfway through the song, it hits super hard because of the long, creepy buildup before it. So good.

Eli’s Influential Songs

Rush: “Red Barchetta” 

This song was introduced to me by my dad when I was a kid, and we have all loved it ever since. 

Metallica: “For Whom the Bell Tolls”

Our first cover song that we fully finished was this song. Metallica was our gateway into metal, and we have loved them since.

Meshuggah: “Rational Gaze” 

I was into this song for a full year and listened to it close to everyday. This got me into the more technical side of metal.

Mastodon: “Megalodon”

Rage Against the Machine “Bullet in the Head”

Pink Floyd: “Dogs”