Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Record Review: Hard Ons - Most People Are A Waste of Time

It pains me to say this, but ‘Most People Are A Waste of Time’ is a tightly coiled, fly-ridden stool. The Hard Ons are the patriarchs of Australian punk rock. Where their seminal early LPs were rich with amateurish melody, rudimentary musicianship and vulgar humour, ‘Most People Are A Waste of Time’ is plagued by out of tune vocals and weighed down by bloated attempts at atmospheric prog rock bludgeoning.

When the Hard Ons hung up their boots after 1993’s ‘Too Far Gone’, they should have remained in retirement, basking in their past glories, revelling in the cult fan base they’d amassed on the back of classic pop punk records like ‘Yummy’ and ‘Dickcheese’. Sure ‘Too Far Gone’ prognosticated a prog rock inclination that would characterize their post-comeback output, but it was still predominantly idiot-savant pop punk.

Quite frankly, guitarist and vocalist, Blackie, can’t hold a tune. Sure he possesses an intimidating bellow, can shred with the best of them and does one of the best hair windmills in rock. But his attempts at mimicking the nasally intonation of ex-singer Keish, is like fingernails meeting a chalk board. His vocals may be suited to swirling hard rock tracks (‘What Would Stiv Bators Do?’, ‘I’ll Get Thrush or Something’ and ‘Poorest Kid On The Block’) but his vocals on saccharine pop punk tracks like ‘I’m Hurt, I’m In Pain’, ‘Knowing My Luck’ and ‘The Ballad of Katrin Cartlidge’ are completely void of melody and distinctly painful.

Most People Are A Waist of Time’s only tolerable tracks – ‘There Goes One of The Creeps That Hassled My Girlfriend’ and ‘Stop Crying’ – are the two that ex-drummer and vocalist, Keish, provides vocals for. Keish’s nasally inflection was the archetype for many a pop punk band to come. Wanna know where Italian pop punk darlings The Manges plagiarised their schtick, listen to stellar tracks like ‘Raining’, ‘Where Did She Come From’ or ‘Surf On My Face’. In fact, don’t bother tracking down ‘Most People Are A Waste of Time’, track down the aforementioned tracks and the LPs they come from.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a shit review. sounds like some kid with a thesaurus and a compulsion to sound verbose.

i like this album and i'm smarter than you, so there, eat shit.

3:42 AM  

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