Earlier this week, I wrote about the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/grunge rock quartet Ramonda Hammer. Comprised of founding member and primary songwriter Devin Davis, along with Andy Hengl, Justin Geter and Mark Edwards, the quartet derive their name from a woman, who was once featured on the early 2000s reality TV show Cheaters. Their self-released 2016 debut Whatever That Means was released to critical applause from Impose Magazine, Earmilk, PureVolume, Fuse TV and elsewhere, and as a result of a rapidly growing local and national profile, the band signed with New Professor Records and released “Zombie Sweater” to applause from Brooklyn Vegan, She Shreds Magazine, Blurred Culture and others. Adding to a growing profile, the band was named one of “LA’s hardest-working bands of 2016” by Oh My Rockness and one of the “best LA emerging bands of 2017 by The Deli Magazine.
Ramonda Hammer’s forthcoming EP Destroyers is slated for an August 4, 2017 release, and the effort’s jagged and off-kilter title track “Destroyers” received attention from this site and elsewhere for a sound that channeled The Breeders, Veruca Salt, The Mallard, Bleeding Rainbow, and others, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook before dissolving into a stormy yet cathartic coda; but at the heart of the song is an emotional ambivalence, as the song manages to be simultaneously feral yet bitterly ironic, triumphantly ass-kicking yet a little sad.
The EP’s latest single “Bender” as Davis explains was written while she was binge-watching Shameless for two weeks straight and she just couldn’t get off the couch to anything remotely productive. “In retrospect, I guess I could call it ‘research’ or whatever, because I ended up writing this song. But yeah, the lyrics are really just a conversation between two opposing sides in one’s brain. The verses ask questions from the more sane, healthy part of one’s psyche, and the choruses respond from the anxiety-ridden, depressed, and very frustrated side. And the reason this person (okay, it’s me!) is so effing frustrated is because they care so so so much, but when crippling depression sets in from time to time, when they get caught in a bender of some sort, it’s so hard to do the things that make you happy. In a final cry, I end the song with, ‘I swear that I deserve good things’ because I think I do and I know other people feel the same.” And while arguably being the most personal song Davis has written, it may be one of the more melodic and anthemic tunes they’ve released to date, sounding as though it could have been released between 1992 and 1996.