The Sydney punk veterans latest album sees the band’s sound evolve with their new lead singer, You Am I’s Tim Rogers.
Can you believe it’s been 40 years since the birth of the Hard-Ons? From skinny teens imitating their rock idols to a professional outfit respected amongst its peers and one that has brought happiness to fans from all over the world.
With the exit of Keish De Silva, this album almost presents as a rebirth for this popular Aussie band. The addition of legendary You Am I frontman Tim Rogers allows the band to be more flexible and mature with their sound, and it comes across as fresh and determined.
There are still hints of the ‘old’ Hard-Ons with Blackie’s signature guitar solos over Ray’s frantic bass runs. Still, several times during “I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken”, they balance this high energy with an atmospheric ambience like on track ‘Frequencies, ’ which at times takes us on an avant-garde trip.
The songs are varied, and they can contrast from frantic energy (‘Fucked Up Party’/’Pucker Up’) to the new singers crooning on the second single ‘Lite As A Feather’ where Rogers sings the catchy line “You’ve got the weight of the world resting on your shoulders”.
Rogers utilises his vocal range, which can transition from sharp rock screams of “Yeah!” to a kind of falsetto and stamps his personality throughout. It’s a satisfying progression for the band and adds a new colour to their musical palette.
Although the album’s new dynamic is a great direction for the band, the LP won’t make it to the Aussie ‘classic’ status of their earlier albums. However, to release something that sounds this fresh after so many years in the music industry is an accomplishment in itself.
With this new line-up, I feel the best is yet to come, and It will be in the live setting where this outfit will shine most. I, for one, can’t wait to see what The Hard-Ons 2.0 have in store for us.
Punktuation Rating 3.5/5
I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken is out on 8th October, and the tour kicks off on the Gold Coast, Australia, in March 2022, taking the band down the east coast and finishing up in Melbourne in April.