Resin Hits – How to Cut a Rock

Resin Hits- How to Cut a Rock

DIY ethics has always been a sign of true commitment and independence in the music industry. Starting out as the owner of a venue in Alabama, Daniel Hukill has now started his own group, Resin Hits in Portland, Oregon. The group is run almost completely by Hukill with the rest of the actual line-up changing dramatically throughout its existence. His newest release, How to Cut a Rock has a nostalgic 90’s sound that has clear similarities to that of post-hardcore group Rites of Spring. There is an abundance of gritty, new-wave guitar hooks and baselines in this release that are overlapped by Hukill’s ravaged voice. Though none of the songs in the album can be thought of as groundbreaking, fans of early punk and hardcore music will surely find something enjoyable in this record.

The opening track, “Canopy”, displays Hukill’s disgust in mankind, singing with a raspy overtone “We make a canopy of the living end” and then later repeatedly screaming “We are already dead”. The clever guitar hook near the beginning will reel in listeners but Hukill’s sinister screaming at times contrasts greatly with some of the upbeat, optimistic guitar instrumentals. This is particularly noticeable in “Dark Party”, where the guitar harmonies sound like that of a young alternative rock group about to sing about their love for a significant other.

Hukill also has little concentration on his lyrics, which seem to be very vague and will have listeners pondering as to exactly what message he is trying to send. In some of the tunes like “These Boys” and “Burning Ball”, it is very hard to make out exactly what Hukill is trying to express as his voice is so raspy it becomes a frustration to fully comprehend his messages.

Easily two highlights of the album are the Fugazi-inspired “Sevens” and the sharp instrumental “Resin Trickster” that expose Hukill’s aptitude to use more than sharp harmonies to develop a track. While “Resin Trickster” may be the most well developed track on How to Cut a Rock, it seems oddly out of place with the rest of the songs as it lacks the aggressive dynamics and thrashing energy that are prominent in other tracks. Luckily he ends the record will with the honourable conclusion of “Peace is Power”. Here, Hukill gives his final message that seems to balance much of the disparity found in earlier portions of the album. He does this by making such strong decrees as “This train starts here, so let’s keep it open” and describes peace as something “beyond sympathy, beyond irony”.

How to Cut a Rock is going to be cast off by some for its lack of real ingenuity and loved by others for its honest and captivating melodies. Daniel Hukill’s Resin Hits are no doubt a talented group but there is a lack of clarity in some of the tracks that restricts listeners from connecting to what message is truly being sent. And as Hukill practices DIY ethics he will need to change this if he hopes to acquire fan base that understands and relates to his songs. All this aside, post-hardcore fans will find something here to like even if the album is somewhat mediocre.