AOL's Digital City
October 21, 1999 -- Hummer, called "one of the
best bands to come out
of Boston in a long, long time" on
i love the song "worried mind." i play it
at the paradise constantly
and have known it to be caught in my head for extended periods
it's like GEORGE HARRISON lives in this band.
My lord what a chorus (and this is just the first song-high hopes
for the other two). The song is called "Sweetly." Got
a walk-paced tempo and yup-it's melodic rock. Well thought out
guitar and bass lines and a nifty echoed harmonica bit.
He's got a low-key vocal delivery (Not low pitched, just relaxed).
Second song has the old guitar-through-the-Leslie trick and I'm
getting the distinct impression of a heavy Beatles influence,
say around the "White Cover" album.
Wonderful job fellers. Could you use a maraca player? (I'm available)
L.A. Joe vol. 14 Feb./march
M3, Modern Musician Monthly
"You have to give this Boston- area band credit: they may
only have three songs on this tape, but stylistically they do
as much as they can in that short space! The lead track, "Sweetly,"
is by far the least "sweet" of the bunch, although it
may be the best; a slowly building tune that has kind of a Cracker
vibe to it (thing "Low") with moody verses that explode
into driving choruses. What's particularly interesting in this
tune is the written harmonized guitar lines in the verses that
add a unique texture to an otherwise conventional alternative-guitar
tune. Immediately the vibe is brought down to a mellow acoustic
level with the lullaby-ish "Worried Mind," a simple
waltzing acoustic and brush-laden tune..... Finally, the quirky
"Facedown" finishes the mix with a trippy psychedelic
tune that is somewhere between Jellyfish, the Beatles, and Squeeze.
But does it work? From a writing perspective, yes. The hooks are
strong and the song construction is quite good.... I'm intrigued
by this offering, and interested where Hummer will go from here,
because the writing is quite strong, and with that in their corner,
the possibilities are endless.
---Rich Lupescu February 1997
Doug's Top 5 for January.
I can't be sure, but I think Hummer is the brainchild of two musicians,
Stephen Mayone and Daniel Cantor. At least that's who's credited
for writing these well crafted songs. If so, they're excellent
musicians who play these three compositions with incredible vigor
They create a huge wall of sound filled with rhythm and heightened
by enticing lyrics that grab the listener up into celestial bliss.
Michael Penn, The Beatles and XTC all have common ground with
Hummer. So, what are you A&R guys waiting for? Sign 'em already,
will ya! Douglas Sloan. January, 1997
ORB Confidential, The Musician's Trade Journal.
"This three song demo features Hummer, a duo out of Watertown,
Ma. The band's music is based o simple, melodic songs played with
a pseudo-psychedelic style and spiced with a thin layer of harsher
guitar work. Three songs from this band really isn't enough and
I can't wait for a full length release. J. Belanger. February,
"It took me until the third and last song of this demo before
I realized what these guys were up to and why I liked it so much.
They don't sound too much like any particular other group, but
they have borrowed some very familiar production and arranging
techniques, and used them creatively to enhance their own work.
I don't want to give anything away and spoil it for the listener,
but the result is amazingly effective. I like their musical instincts
overall, and I think they could continue to grow on their own,
but I'd like to hear them with some "assistance." A
full production studio would be good for starters, and maybe a
little technical advice from time to time. Since the band has
already begun to attract label attention, it wouldn't surprise
me if everything starts coming together soon.
They open up with a semi-grungy rock ballad called "Sweetly,"
and the lyric builds from the opening line, adding color until
they get to the chorus and the drums kick in. They add a touch
of hysteria in the instrumental break with a bluesy harmonica
going crazy deep in the reverb. "Worried Mind" changes
the pace quite a bit. It has a very strong refrain and it's more
of an acoustic number in 3/4 time. "Facedown" is upbeat,
a little bouncy. The lyrics are playful, with just a hint of facetiousness
here and there. Of the three, I like "Worried Mind"
the best, but they are all solid tunes. As I said earlier, I like
their musical instincts overall.
One word of caution is in order: without the j-card, I wouldn't
be able to name you the title of any of the songs except "Worried
Mind." I realize that the hook-type titles of Top 40 aren't
for everybody, but you might want to reconsider where you've placed
the titles in the other songs, or consider making them stronger
in some way."
-David Robinson, April 1997
"This is a three song tape, but it is packed with peanuts
and really satisfies! Hummer is Dan Cantor and Steve Mayone, together
this duo makes a group! Almost all of the noises heard on Facedemo
are produced by one of these two multi-talented players. The pair
uses their sizable amounts of skill to flesh out a sound that
is much larger than the sum of their parts.
Either one or both of these boys has a serious amount of studio
smarts, because the project fairly reeks of D.I.Y. I can't imagine
anyone besides the duo themselves in the studio creating this
masterwork. If they had other help, it is not noted in their sparse
but humorous demo package. The short one-sheet and accompanying
cover letter gently cradled a modest, clear-shell tape, with a
clean and effective label. However, no information was provided
about the recording process, and I found myself cursing Hummer
for this glaring oversight!
These veterans of more than a dozen regional bands seem to have
found a real sound together. You will hear more on Hummer when
I review their full-length CD "Premium" which my mailbox
is currently salivating for...
In the meantime, get this tape and whet your appetite for Hummer,
... -Christopher Marz, Mixx Magazine, 4/97.
Jim Santo Demo Universe/Web Magazine
Three enjoyable numbers from Stephen Mayone and Daniel
Cantor, d/b/a Hummer. Inhabiting the same corner of the pop universe
as Matthew Sweet, Hummer sways from alt-rock ("Sweetly")
to country-rock ballad ("Worried Mind") to George Harrison-influenced
whimsy ("Facedown"). Dunno who does what here, but it's
all done exceptionally well.