Saturday, 20 August 2011

Hard Fi - Killer Sounds

 Killer Sounds is the third album by Staines radio-friendly Indie Rockers, Hard Fi. Does it live up to it's name? No, no it really does not.
 That's not to slam the album to the ground or anything. All the songs are catchy as hell. Listening to them, you just want to get up and start moving, you want to start stomping your feet around or nodding your head (not full on headbanging, now) or just start jumping around with a big crowd of other people, good examples of this being the tracks Bring It On and Love Song. Other tracks show off the group's ska-punk influence, mainly on Stop with it's more relaxed pace and usage of brass influences aside the rough sounding guitar riffs. Also, on many of the tracks the combination of powerful riffs and constant synthesizer pounding makes the album pretty heavy, which makes for pretty fun listening.
 But ultimately, this album is not killer, due to its astonishing lack of reinvention or originality. Radio-friendly rock mixed with dance music is something that's been done and done over and over again. Perhaps I can be seen as hypocritical for complaining about this due to my complete adoration of metalcore but at least every band of that genre remains unique and dynamic in their own way. This album just isn't. Nothing really makes it stand out. It's far less unique or memorable than any albums made by fellow indie rock and electronica combiners Kaiser Chiefs and Kasabian and a much better album for catchy-as-fuck and danceable dance rock choruses would be Panic! At the Disco's A Fever You Can't Sweat Out which packs much more punch and is filled with much more life. Also, the lyrics aren't exactly anything to write home about. It's just very basic get-up-and-go party lyrics , with the occasional break while Richard Archer tries to chat up some girl. The one exception to this is the album's title track. The one track that is worth writing home about. Following an unusual structure of a simple indie rock chorus, before then fading into a piano ballad during the verses, the song Killer Sounds has something of a lyrical exception where Archer explains his grief as after a friend of his committed suicide (wether this is based on a real event or not, I have no idea) and for this reason he wants everyone to go out and make their lives worthwhile and enter get-up-and-go party lyrics. However, at least this song gives the lyrics more reason, making them less boring.
 Finally, I have to say something about the album's cover with four cartoon-ish skull heads all piled together with the whitespace background. It totally reminds me of one of those interlude slides from BBC3's Russell Howard's Good News that appear throughout the show to show the introduction of a new segment. Like, a speech bubble should a appear above one of the skulls that reads "Mystery Guest" or something. Yeah, that was my immediate thought when I first saw the album cover.
 So, overall, Killer Sounds is by all means a good album, very catchy and would make a great party soundtrack. However, it's definitely not the best around for a catchy party rock album, especially whilst many more bands who make a similar sound with much more substance are around.

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