by / August 25th, 2011 /

Hard-Fi – Killer Sounds

 2/5 Rating

(Necessary)

It’s safe to say that the majority of the world hasn’t exactly been on tenterhooks waiting for Hard-Fi’s third album. While their debut Stars Of CCTV had a underdog charm and was of a place and time, the follow up Once Upon A Time In The West saw them fall out of favour and a four year gap will have hardly kept them in the public mindset. Thus the optimistically titled Killer Sounds arrives not to clamorous praise or overwhelming condemnation, but to more of a collective shrug.

Unfortunately, the record suits such a reaction – a shame because it does have moments when Hard-Fi remind you that they could have mattered. These come when they sound like the Hard-Fi of old, a combination of Clash style punk with, well, Clash style funk. ‘Good For Nothing’ is easily up there with the likes of ‘Cash Machine’ and ‘Tied Up Too Tight’. It’s a trick that they repeat on ‘Stop’ and ‘Feels Good’, but one that they crucially chose to ignore on most of the record.

There are plenty of surprises on Killer Sounds – just none of them good. ‘Fire In The House’ sees them go electro, ‘Give It Up’ a bit disco and ‘Sweat’ a little bit R&B in an odd way. None of these are good looks. When ‘Love Song’ seems to channel Daft Punk it all gets too confusing, why a band who have hit on a winning formula should choose to mess with it in such a spectacularly ill advised way. Maybe they felt the pressure of that collective shrug, but Killer Sounds the album does not work. ‘Killer Sounds’ the track however, does, closing the record in fine fashion and hinting at what might have been. Oh well…

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