Hard Girls

A Thousand Surfaces

Written by: PP on 16/02/2015 23:06:56

Guitars drenched in reverb and vocals nicely sharp and gravelly, Hard Girls hit just about every right button for this scribe on their sophomore album "A Thousand Surfaces" that was released last summer. They draw from similarly anthemic and open-ended punk rock turned Americana melodies as Downtown Struts on their equally brilliant "Victoria" from a few years ago, whilst drawing in parallels to equally sailor-style rambled vocals of UK's Bangers on their third album "Crazy Fucking Dreams". Basically, put those two bands together and you have Hard Girls. A FEST-friendly, drunken sing along fueled basement punk band drowning in passion and honesty-driven songwriting.

At least that's the case for the first four tracks on the record. "Screw" is all about the repeat-shout singalongs with throaty vocals upfront, whereas "996 Tears" showcases its excellent guitar leads whilst remembering to keep things anthemic. But hereafter, things get interesting. "Die Slow" offers a more balladic approach that recalls The Menzingers on their slower and quieter songs, and why not also The Smith Street Band whose expression is revisited more clearly as we approach songs like "Plan" and "Flying Dream". The soundscape is upbeat, energetic and contains plenty of edge to keep things flowing forward in an interesting manner throughout the record. Most importantly, these songs are darn catchy despite being unassuming in all their basement style punk glory. Through the basic production and gravelly vocals shine tracks that have the potential to seriously awe and capture an audience, especially in live environment I bet.

At fourteen tracks and almost forty minutes in length, "A Thousand Surfaces" could feel a little long for the type of a punk album it represents: passionate, mid-tempo melodies that tick all the boxes when it comes to textbook singalongs for this type of music. However, the record never reaches that point thanks to a healthy amount of variety. Tempo, style and approach vary significantly throughout the record, whilst still keeping the gravelly vocals at the center of their expression. That throat needs to be heard, especially in the context of these melodies. Certainly a forgotten gem from 2014.

8

Download: Screw, 996 Tears, Plan, The Chord,
For the fans of: Downtown Struts, Bangers, The Smith Street Band, The Menzingers, Signals Midwest
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.06.2014
Asian Man Records

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