Punk rockers drop into Byron
TERMS like ‘punk-rock’ get thrown around a lot by record companies in the effort to market bands as hardcore, edgy or just plain cool.
But words like punk may as well have been invented for groups like The Hard-Ons – one of Australia’s longest living hardcore punk acts.
Formed in 1981, The Hard-Ons have stayed true to their punk-rock ethos, refusing to sell-out in the face of major labels calling with promises to sign them up if only they would ‘make adjustments’ to their music, clothing and even their name.
However, staying loyal to themselves has not left the band without an audience.
The Hard-Ons are one of Australia’s most commercially successful independent bands, with more than 250,000 record sales to date.
The band have just released their 15th studio album, Alfalfa Males Once Summer is Done Conform or Die.
They will give fans (and the curious) a first-hand ‘taste’ of the new album when they drop into the backroom of the Hotel Great Northern next week.
“The new album clocks in at just over 40 minutes and we have managed to squeeze in 19 songs – it’s true Hard-Ons value,” The Hard-Ons’ bass player Ray Ahn says.
“It has been described as a series of compact musical explosions and I think this is why the tracks work well at our live shows – violent but tender – a typical Hard-Ons experience.”
Take a listen to Alfalfa Males Once Summer is Done Conform Or Die and you will catch Ahn’s drift while appreciating the band has matured.
Their last two albums, Most People Are Nicer Than Us (2007) and Most People Are A Waste Of Time (2006) split the bands sound, slash-and-burn thrash metal (the former) and sugary pop punk (the latter).
However, Alfalfa Males Once Summer Is Done Conform Or Die seems to draw equally from both sides of The Hard-Ons split/schizophrenic style.
This has made for an album that is much more in-line with their earlier offerings, which made them huge in the underground music scene, both here and overseas.
But not every audience appreciates their audio antics.
“We are really a niche band, so not everyone is going to like what we have to offer,” Ahn says.
“A lot of big bands have asked us to open for them, bands like the Foo Fighters, who we have made friends with over the years.
“And of course, when we walk out on stage and play our version of rock, the crowd just hates us. You can see the look of hatred in their eyes – I love pissing people off.”
But if you like your rock ’n’ roll served up with a dash of thrash and a side serve of punk-pop, get along and catch The Hard-Ons at the Hotel Great Northern, Byron Bay, next Thursday, July 29.
Tickets $16.50 are available at http://thenorthern.oztix.com.au/. Doors open at 9pm.