British rockers Hard-Fi are hardly known for originality, but then again neither are Kaiser Chiefs or The Bravery. It only means that they are easy to listen to, the word “fun” comes to mind. UK house parties, lager, whatever. Hard-Fi stepped foot onto the indie scene modestly with their 2005 debut Stars Of CCTV. (after the popular English news source)
They held attention spans firmly with songs like “Cash Machine” and “Living For The Weekend.” Lack of funds and everyday-man woes became a popular lyrical theme in their cymbal-happy post-punk revival. They’re now back with a versatile third album, Killer Sounds, which dropped in their native hierarchical land on August 19, 2011.
“Give It Up” is a whistling spy tea kettle, “Fire In The House” is a Duran Duran-style anthem. The guitar, and synthesizers of “Bring It On” will have your foot manically tapping in no time while frontman Richard Archer screams, “GOTTA TAKE YOU OUT, I’M GONNA FUCK YOU UP!” And he IS going to fuck you up, with his music, with his band, with his Simon Le Bon throat swagger and powerBritpop.
Another highlight is “Feels Good,” which sounds like it contains a sample from Mandy Moore’s Arabian-inspired “In My Pocket” (remember that?) but it’s forgivably lovable and guiltily pleasing in a cocaine snorting kind of way. Also, there’s the soultoothed heartbeat of “Sweat,” where Hard-Fi strongly prove that they’re more than just mindless rockers of the past.
All of Killer Sounds proves just that, they’ve evolved, and they’re deeper than imitation-Gang-Of-Four, they could be Adam Ant, or some modern wonder that branches out like a coastal octopus tree. Ultimately, this CD is better than anyone could expect, though sadly my only defined expectation for it is that it will not get the recognition it deserves, at least not in the states. Perhaps YOU can change that.
Here’s a tracklisting, in order of how good each song is, for all you indecisive, individual iTunes song buyers:
- Give it up
- Fire in the house
- Feels good
- Bring it on
- Stay alive
- Love song
- Good for nothing
- Killer sounds