The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

18

Hard Fi Once Upon A Time In The WestReview Snapshot: One of the most anticipated albums of 2007, Hard–Fi return with a rocking record, littered with strong tracks and ballads, yet not caring what anyone thinks. Doing what they want, and doing it with aplomb.

The CLUAS Verdict? 8 out of 10

Full Review: The thumping distinctive sound of ‘Suburban Knights’ lets you know it’s the return of Hard-Fi. The radio-friendly single is the opener on their second album ‘Once Upon A Time In The West, and it gets better as the album progresses.

‘I Shall Overcome’ is brilliant, with elements of The Clash and Rolling Stones blended together to make another rocking tune. ‘Tonight’ is unfamiliar sounding Hard -Fi. It’s one of the strongest ballads on the album and should give fans that see them live, a required momentary rest.

The piano-intro to ‘Television’ is the calm before the storm, it picking up momentum as it progresses. It’s typical Hard-Fi with its catchy chorus “television, not religion / everybody sing hallelujah”.

‘Help Me Please’ is a poignant ballad Archer wrote about the death of his mother while ‘Can’t Get Along (Without You)’ reminds me of The Ramones ‘Baby I Love You’, very 60s Phil Spector.

From the 60s to the 70s they proceed with ‘We Need Love’. Inspired by Billy Bragg’s ‘Progressive Patriot’, this could so easily have been a single by The Specials.

The closing track ‘The King’ sounds remarkably like The Verve’s ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ (probably because they used the same producer Will Malone). It’s Malone’s orchestral arrangement on this number that ensures it will become a future classic the band will be remembered for.

Overall an excellent follow-up to CCTV! Difficult second album me b****x!

Mick Lynch

 To buy a new or (very reasonably priced) 2nd hand copy of this album on Amazon just click here.


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2001 - Early career profile of Damien Rice, written by Sinead Ward. This insightful profile was written before Damien broke internationally with the release of his debut album 'O'. This profile continues to attract hundreds of visits every month, it being linked to from Damien Rice's Wikipedia page.