- RELEASE DATE /10 September 2021
- CATALOG /CRT061
- LABEL /Cheersquad Records & Tapes
- FORMAT /digital single
A FEW WORDS
“Lite as a Feather”, the second single from the Hard-Ons‘ forthcoming album “I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken” – their first album with Tim Rogers – is an absolute stomper that utilises Tim’s vocal talents brilliantly. Almost two songs in one, the crunching first half highlights a sing-along refrain of “You’ve got the weight of the world resting on your shoulders” before it changes tack and becomes something more melodic. It’s a brilliant track that highlights the band’s inventiveness and suggests that “I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken” will further reveal the Hard-Ons’ musicality and surprise anyone who sees them as just a thrashy punk band.
The album “I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken” is out October 8, and currently available for pre-order on limited edition blue vinyl, black vinyl, CD and digitally.
Last month’s announcement of the Hard-Ons’ recruitment of Rogers was BIG NEWS and was met with excitement, bemusement and yes the inevitable few grumbles from old fans. Of course, the Hard-Ons have been cranking out their own brand of punk rock for nearly 40 years (they started young!), and their fans are diehard. But, as the first piece of new music attested – the single “Hold Tight” is a punk-pop gem and was instantly added to Double-J’s playlist – the new line-up is not going to give fans anything to complain about.
The magic in this union perhaps comes from the fact that Tim Rogers is one of those fans himself. As he this week told Blunt Magazine:
“I’m a fan first and foremost. [They were] the first band I loved that I could see, the first band I got my nose broken to, [and the first band] I lost my hearing to. There are so many firsts. And then to be in the rehearsal room… I looked over at Blackie’s amp and went, ‘Oh, that’s the amp.’ And I saw the SG, and I was like, ‘That’s the SG.’ I’ve been watching him play with those since 1986.”
One of Australia’s most loved and influential bands from the mid-‘80s through to now, the Hard-Ons came out of the multicultural South-West Sydney suburb Punchbowl and quickly won a large following nationally with their irreverent attitude and catchy, noisy high energy sound. Appearing on the Radio Birdman-influenced Sydney scene of the early ‘80s and preceding the punk-pop boom of the ‘90s, the Hard-Ons were a musical bridge and became a punk and alternative music sensation, blowing open doors by incorporating disparate elements – like a range of metal styles, from glam to thrash – which were previously unheard in Australian punk. All the while they were forced to push through other barriers; barriers that appeared because of their mixed ethnicity and their wilfully transgressive and irreverent nature, which was typified by their name, and by Ray’s outrageous artwork.
In their early days, the Hard-Ons shared bills with the likes of the Ramones and Nirvana and appeared on numerous Big Days Out. They scored a never-bettered 17 consecutive number 1s on the Australian independent charts and in 1989 were the only Australian band still based in Australia to hit the top 5 in the NME charts (the only Australian artists to have achieved that – Nick Cave and the Go-Betweens – had both been UK-based). Despite break-ups and the formation of other bands (Ray & Blackie’s other ongoing band Nunchukka Superfly) and, in Blackie’s case, a solo career, the Hard-Ons undertook their 19th European tour in 2018, when they played the massive metal festival Hellfest, alongside Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Joan Jett. Soon to celebrate 40 years together, their new album with new kid Tim will be their 13th.
Over the years, the Hard-Ons have won the vocal support of artists like Dave Grohl, Henry Rollins, and Jello Biafra. They’ve influenced subsequent generations of punk bands – from the Meanies to Frenzal Rhomb to Private Function – as well as a wide-ranging groundswell of Australian alternative artists – from You Am I to Spiderbait to Silverchair to Regurgitator to Magic Dirt to Powderfinger to the Dirty Three to the Chats – each of whom have been inspired by the Hard-Ons’ energy, free spirit and uncompromising dedication.
If Tim Rogers joining the Hard-Ons wasn’t mind-boggling enough – plenty of fans of both parties thought it was a prank when initially announced – the group’s new video, for the rousing “Lite as a Feather“, will no doubt cause more confusion. Featuring footage of the four band members playing along to the song in isolation but mixing up their roles, it shows Tim’s voice coming out from wannabe crooner Blackie, Blackie’s guitar riffs thrashed out by drummer Murray Ruse, bass player Ray Ahn doing a woeful job miming to Murray’s insane drumming and Tim pretending he’s Ray on the 4-string. If you don’t know who’s who in the Hard-Ons these days, this clip isn’t going to clarify it for you!
Directed by Descent Into the Maelstrom: The Radio Birdman Story director Jonathan Sequeira, the video for “Lite as a Feather” is action-packed and a lot of fun and will also appeal to anyone who loves ’70s bubblegum cards!