On April 29, Ramonda Hammer released their debut album, Whatever That Means. The record thrills with bright melodic grunge full of heavy percussion, bringing ‘90s sound into modern rock.
Ramonda Hammer’s music is loud and brassy like dyed red hair. Full of noisy guitar and dissonance, it reminds us of an era when rock stars were gods and mosh pits were inevitable. This is not a bad thing. Devin Davis’s voice sometimes channels Gwen Stefani in her early No Doubt days while maintaining a rougher resonance that is uniquely her own.
The album spirals through a variety of sounds. Songs like “See” combine Devin’s thrashing vocals with raucous guitar, while opener, “Chaotic,” is more playful. The band seamlessly moves from harsh to mellow between chorus and verses on songs like “Goddamn Idiot” and even songs with a lighter touch have heavy lyrics, such as “Out of Style.” Devin practically yodels the chorus of “Strangers Love You” and “Conflicted” is a ballad with soaring electric guitar.
This album brings forth an echo of years gone by. It shows us that grunge is still a relevant genre. Whatever That Means stands out from today’s mainstream rock in a commanding way. Ramonda Hammer follow their own path and shine more brightly for it.