The Humms are an experimental rock band from Athens, Georgia that first formed in Hartwell circa 2008 by Zeke Sayer, Tyler Glenn & John Bleech.
The band’s first single Are You Dead? released in 2009 on Odd Box Records & was runner-up for the “Best Album, Single and Live Act” writer’s poll by UK publication SoundsXP in 2009.
Their debut album Lemonland was released internationally in 2010 on Odd Box, Bachelor and Gypsy Farm Records, receiving fairly positive reviews by music magazine Pop Matters citing:
“There are thousands of bands that go unheard everyday, but when a record with such stark urgency and possibility like Lemonland goes largely unnoticed, that’s a crime.”
Critics for L.A. Record point out the band’s “signature haunting surf-rock style” – “Like a zombie shredding a tasty wave, the tracks Don’t Think About Death and Buttermilk are a little scary and a lot of fun.”
The group is noted for “Covering everything from psychobilly to punk-infused country, there is no genre, nay no topic, off limits to these Georgia natives.” wrote Performer Magazine.
The Humms grew into a revolving stew of characters, at times featuring West Coast drummer Jacky “ZZ” Ryder, Tennessee-born guitarist Matthew Garrison & fellow Hartwell, Ga musician, David Martin.
The group were mostly inactive from 2013 while Garrison recorded and toured internationally, playing bass with Elf Power. In October 2019, it was announced that the Humms had recorded a new album, titled Vampire Hours.
The album was released just before Halloween 2020 & marked the return of original founding drummer, John Bleech. During spring 2021, The Humms website announced their third album, titled Pelzer Fuck Club will be released in 2022.
Contact The HUMMS:
“The Humms’ Lemonland sucks listeners into a jagged yet spirited sonic landscape without any remorse. Often this happens before listeners suspect a thing. While “Blood Sucking Vampire” sounds like a straight-up country-infused punk jam, it quickly gives way to a sonic assault that is both catchy and intoxicating. “Uncle Sam Took My Baby Away” and “Buttermilk” give weight to the band’s psychedelic edge, and it’s one that cuts deep.”
“While the recording may sound rather forced, the raw, unpolished feel of Lemonland only serves to augment The Humms unadulterated approach. It’s a record that hints at further possibilities with gentle acoustic jams and spacey, whispering lullabies placed between some of the most punishing psych-influenced punk numbers that have, unfortunately, never been heard. There are thousands of bands that go unheard everyday, but when a record with such stark urgency and possibility like Lemonland goes largely unnoticed, that’s a crime.
– Pop Matters
“Here is the riveting new video [Merry Days] of an often overlooked, one of a kind rock ‘n’ roll group. The Humms are the brain-child of the incredibly gifted multi-instrumentalist, engineer, producer, record label owner. Zeke Sayer: a stylish, unique trendsetting racontour, who is also a powerhouse drummer. The first time I saw them, was when we shared a stage together 10 years ago. They were raw, loud, long-haired, intelligent, but they were still great and most of all, familiar.”
– Kenneth Aguar
“Grim motor-psycho music that goes from growling Steppenwolf jams to delightfully strange jazz/krautrock diversions.”
— Bandcamp (New & Notable)
“Starting out with a suggestion of Merseybeat and then destabilizing the relation as it goes along, but keeping the movement of the harmony coherent.”
— Kevin Dunn (co-producer; The B-52s, Pylon)
“A strange juxtaposition between the heavy and acoustic sections. Maybe some folks will find this innovative, but I find it unsettling.”
— Marty G, FL.
“This new release from The Humms yanks the listener from the ghoulish psychedelia of ‘Lemonland’, thrusting them deep into a depraved and possessed saloon in 17th century Transylgeorgia, spinning through violent and resplendent waves of dusty, mescaline-dipped Mai Tais, screaming for the life they once forgot, shadow boxing the vampire they’re afraid to admit they are.”
— Jared Cobb, The Peacock Observer
“Y’all heard the smokin’ new single “Lady Low” out from long-lived Athens band The Humms? It maintains the group’s signature garage style and easily packs a full two minutes of pleasure into its one minute and thirty-three second package. It’s taken from the band’s upcoming full-length album Vampire Hours.”
— Gordon Lamb, Flagpole Magazine
“The band moves in a million directions but always with a sense of purpose. The Humms have successfully created an album that is not only addictive and creative, but one that proves this band can hold its own in today’s music scene.”
— Vanessa Bennett, Performer Magazine
Well, it’s nearly been a decade or more since the last humble haunting cast forth by Athens, Ga musical group, the Humms.
Formed in 2008 by Zeke Sayer, the Humms arose through a DIY spirit of writing and producing songs, accompanied with a revolving crew of characters, helping compose initial recordings.
Circulated under their own record label Gypsy Farm, the demos established an early fan base with one such track Are You Dead? catching the ear of Trev McCabe, who subsequently released it on the then blossoming London label Odd Box records, in 2009.
Following that, the Humms toured throughout the Southeastern U.S. while pinning new songs to be released on their first album, Lemonland – again released on Odd Box, with an additional release through Bachelor records in 2010.
Standout tracks included “Don’t Think About Death”, a gritty throwback to early 1960’s surf garage-punkers entangled with ominous guitar riffs and then “Uncle Sam Took My Baby Away”, possibly the posthumously channeled lyrics of one Joey Ramone, but with a country-fried twang.
Shortly before the summer of 2013, the band abruptly ceased all live performances, giving no explanation. Some of the group toured internationally, while others sought work in rural churches.
Then in early 2020, amid a developing pandemic, the Humms released “Lady Low” serving as the first official single out from the yet-to-be released album.
Now with all walks of life, ghost and goblin, forced out of sync, there seemed to be no better cue for the resurrection of a group, long since recognized with having a peculiar pulse of rhythm, in a time of the unknown.
These are the vampire hours.
Staff writer for Parkertown Publications,
a subsidiary of the Gypsy Farm Network.