steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Very Exciting!" CD

Bomp Records

Genres: punk, pop, metal-punk

PO Box 7112
Burbank CA 91910

May 3 - 9 2004

This is how it's done.  The Hard-Ons, a punk three-piece from Sydney, Australia, are a very solid band.  Their key to success is a wonderful pop sensibility, meaning each tune is a fantastic nugget of punk energy crossed with infectious hooks and a popular accessibility.  These guys have been playing together since 1982, so it's no surprise they've gotten so good at it.

Very Exciting! features a lot of poppish material, as well as some more aggressive, metal-influenced hard punk.  They are clearly most effective with the former.  "Scared of it All," for example, is a thrilling, energy-charged rocker with a fantastic chorus that could really make it a hit.  It has a dark, gripping sound to it that will please both punk and rock listeners - and it's easily the album's best moment.  "Olympic Diver," meanwhile, isn't as dark, but is more fiery and rapid.  The inclusion of a tremendously infectious chorus will make it a favourite with anyone lucky enough to hear it.  "Killing Me" and "Breakfast Caramel" are also in the same vein.

The less enjoyable moments of Very Exciting! are those when the band tries to be too metal.  Tracks like "(Everytime I Hear) Techno (I Pray For Death)" and the gargly death metal-cum-punk rocker "Cat's Got Your Tongue" just don't fit in with the majority of this record.

Overall, though, The Hard-Ons are on their game for most of Very Exciting!, and we're all quite fortunate for that.  Music this great deserved to be heard.   Check it out.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 15 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]