Hard-Fi – Stars Of CCTV

starsofcctv

Hard-Fi – Stars Of CCTV
Warner
July 4, 2005

What It Sounds Like:  Heavy on the bass riffs and heavy on the catchy post punk – these English lads spend their days at the pub and their nights on the club stages.

F.Y.E. (For Your Entertainment) is a record store.  For now it is, anyways.  They’ve been closing up stores across the country at a fast pace, which is more than depressing.  Over one hundred in 2011.  Fifty two in 2012.  Who knows how many 2013 will bring us…it’s a sad state for record stores to be in.

Whatever happens to F.Y.E., I will always remember being in the one at the Susquehanna Valley Mall in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania in 2005.  Over the speakers came some song called Cash Machine by some band that I had never heard of called Hard-Fi.  I went right to the H’s, found the record on sale for $9.99, and made my purchase.  Way to go, marketers!  Job well done!

Since that day, Hard-Fi’s debut record became a staple of my collection.  Unapologetically a plug for post-punk revival, it’s full of tight guitars, shimmery synths, and cleaned up garage band swagger.  They sing of the working class – working for the man, at a job you hate, just to make it through another five days to get to the weekend (There is a song titled, ahem…Living For The Weekend).  They’re not ones for responsibility.  They’ll meet the girls down at the bars and sweet talk them until the wee hours of the morning (Hard To Beat), but don’t expect these boys do stick around and do the right thing when something starts to form in that girl’s belly (Cash Machine).  They gotta look out for number one and roll on down the road.  Not really respectable lyrics, of course not.  But man, it’s catchy stuff – can’t get around it.  Check out that the spankin’ bass/guitar duo on Gotta Reason.  The dance floor is calling your name, and you better respond, STAT!

A beautiful surprise comes halfway through the record, with the piano ballad Move On Now.  Super simple piano structure, but it’s Richard Archer’s vocal delivery that shines through the bleak landscape of this broken relationship.  He may have a heart in him, after all.  But of course, it’s called into question again with the follow up of Better Do Better:  You think I’m gonna take you back / You’d better do better than that / Don’t you never ever come near me / Let me tell you how I’ve been / I’ve been hiding from my friends / Hiding from the world / Hiding from myself.

Yeah, the dude may need to grow up a little bit, so I hate him for writing such catchy freaking songs…

But he does.

7.5/10

If you had to listen to two tracks:  Gotta Reason / Hard To Beat

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