I’ve had my finger on the pulse of the English band Hard-Fi for several years now, having stumbled across Cash Machine from 2005’s “Stars Of CCTV“, and the entire album quickly became part of my regular playlists. The combination of great beats and insightful/moving lyrics made it a great album from front to back.
Their sophomore effort, 2007’s “Once Upon A Time In The West“, was a minor disappointment, but still a very good album. However, it just didn’t have the same staying power with fewer catchy beats and strayed a bit from the counterculture vibes of their debut album in favor of a more introspective approach overall.
Last month, after 4 seemingly very long years, Hard-Fi has returned with “Killer Sounds“, which is a very welcome return to the roots that made them a hit in my book, and is one of the best complete albums I’ve come across in the last few years. From the tone-setting Good For Nothing (“Bueno Para Nada!”), the album gets off to a running start, and doesn’t stop until you get through the final title track, Killer Sounds. In between, you get flares of different cultural influences that the album cover suggests, from the Spanish tossed into Good For Nothing to the Asian influences in Feel Good to the European electronica undertones of Excitement, Love Song and Sweat. And let’s not leave out Fire In The House, the second single released off the album, which is a great, powerful and passionate song that should get the blood flowing.
This is an album which I want to put on and just set it to repeat, which is a rather rare occurrence for me to say. Not many artists will give you this kind of bang for your buck. So, if you enjoy alternative or indie rock music, then you’ll want to do yourself a big favor and pick up a copy of Killer Sounds (since it isn’t even avaliable on Amazon MP3s in the U.S. yet).