Do you ever wonder if Joe Jackson listens to modern music?
Do you think he sits quietlyat home in his library and ponders where
modern music, especially this modern Brit-disco revival thingy, would
be without his pioneering new wave albums?
With a dramatic swagger and modern attitude, Hard-Fi brings
to the table all that is right about modern rock, while also embodying
so much of what is wrong with the latest wave of Britpop - but I will
attempt to leave off my Franz Ferdinand bashing for this review.
Hard-Fi is obviously an outrageously talented group of musicians,
and their abilities shine on this EP. The bass player is tremendous,
both in tone and chops, and the drummer is solid and knows how to
finesse the sounds from the kit. Guitars are well produced and play
the role necessary, propelling the music into its retro-style sound.
Vocals are on key and chock full of attitude and presence, making
the music sound very complete.
The songs are tight and well written - quite a difference from much
of the modern overproduced stuff happening these days. These songs
are solidly written, having a depth that would work in any genre,
and containing a strength that shames all of their peers. "Cash
Machine" builds on a disco-Clash base and creates a bouncy
mood that will certainly move the feet. Vocals and guitar play off
each other nicely, weaving a tight knit of sound over crisp drumming
and the aforementioned brilliant bass playing. "Tied Up Too Tight"
slows a bit, bringing in strings and piano to create a sincere Blur/Joe
Jackson influenced sound, weaving together various styles and super-conscious
arranging into a fantastic little song. "Sick Of It All"
adds another dimension to Hard-Fi's sound, grunging up the overall
mix a bit, and rocking into a bit more straightforward musical aisle.
The coolest moments of the EP come when the band dips into the classic
production values of dub music, as so perfectly exemplified in the
first few seconds of their cover of the White Stripes' "Seven
Nation Army". The reverbs and echoes are perfectly chosen to
create an intense ambience on this fine cover of one of Jack White's
Not derivative to the point of paying direct homage to the past,
Hard-Fi's Cash Machine EP is a collection of songs that will
remind your soul of musical memories, while their brilliant music
insidiously worms its way deep into your brains and groovebox
After listening once, you'll want to listen again, and again
1. Cash Machine
2. Tied Up Too Tight
3. Sick Of It All
4. Seven Nation Army
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