I thought I'd try something. Every Friday, give or take a few, I'll do a quick write-up on an album from a band that was overlooked and is worthy of reinvestigation. Also - I'll try to pick albums that are available for free streaming over Xbox Music.
For my inaugural piece, I thought I'd discuss the album Numb by the band Hammerbox.
You can listen to it here:
Numb by Hammerbox (Xbox Music)
Hammerbox were part of the Seattle grunge revolution of the 90's, but - unlike Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam - they had more to do with the punk rock crowd that included The Gits, Nirvana and Mudhoney.
Their first album - the self-titled Hammerbox - came out on C/Z records and established their lead singer, Carrie Akre, as a force to be reckoned with. This album attracted the attention of A&M records who teamed them with Soundgarden producer Michael Beinhorn for their sophomore album Numb (1992). The pairing didn't quite work as well as it should have, but it's still a strong album, and worthy of a revisit.
Sadly - even with A&M's increased market presence - the album only sold to the Seattle faithful, and the band disbanded shortly thereafter.
The album leans more towards the metallic side of punk, but it's not metal. Call it fast moving rock, tightly played, with a melodic edge. Couple that with Carrie's expressive vocals (to borrow a phrase from AllMusic's review), and that'll give you a sense of what you're in for.
Give it a spin, and let me know what you think in the comments below.