Album Review: The Curse of K.K. Hammond – Death Roll Blues

The Curse of K.K. Hammond is a Buckinghamshire-based singer, songwriter and slide-guitarist who has just released her debut album after having racked up an impressive amount of fans online. It’s called Death Roll Blues.

By Graeme Smith

Death Roll Blues is one for lovers of the macabre, with tales of monsters, death and all manner of horror. Yet, the eleven tracks on the album really explore something a little less supernatural – the human experience, and K.K. Hammond uses her love of all things creepy as effective metaphor.

The spooky journey starts with Swamp Thing, a very short and atmospheric intro that rolls seamlessly into the brooding and eerie Death Roll Blues. When we get the first taste of K.K.’s expressive vocals, we know we’re in for something special.

What’s the Weatherman Done? is stripped back and deadly, rich with meteorological metaphor. Anhedonia is lonesome, lowdown blues with biting lyrics about self-important men. Mister Apology goes one step further, excoriating its lyrical antagonist. The Bone Collector sits at the heart of the album bringing a dark atmosphere and memorable melodies. It’s a highlight.

In the Dirty South takes you right to the criminal underbelly of small town America with its descriptive lyrics while Don’t Sell Your Sunshine for a Knife is a minimalist cautionary tale. Till Death is a wistful track that subverts the romantic ballad, Memento Mori is a slow-burning spoken word masterpiece that runs for over seven minutes, and finally Swamp Thing Returns gives us a short, final ambient vignette.

The Curse of K.K. Hammond is breathing new life into the long-standing genre of blues. Her unique song writing voice and dry British wit brings something irresistibly fresh. I have to admit to not being the biggest fan of the blues, but I think K.K. might have made me a convert. It’s clear to see why she’s garnering such buzz online. Death Roll Blues should be her launchpad to a wider audience. Let’s just hope the world is ready for her.

You can listen to Death Roll Blues below.