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Very Exciting

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Album Review

And for some, the endless series of punk revivals means...fun. And not the kind the Algonquin Round Table went on about. Guitarist Blackie, bassist Ray, and newish drummer Pete went into a studio again and proceeded to do exactly what they love doing, which is of course why Very Exciting! is such a fun album. If you don't like catchy punk-pop in any version, never mind and steer clear, but otherwise this is grand, ridiculous, and just wanky enough (after all, what else to call the chugging solos and the like in "Sunny," the winningly sung kickoff to the whole thing?). The idea of the Hard-Ons being reflective may cause bemusement in some corners, but it's the easygoing singing on songs like "Killing Me" and "Caravan Man" and the high harmonies on "Olympic Diver" and "Race Track" that gives the band a great reason to keep on keeping on. Not that Blackie can't be as blunt and brutal as needed — the grindcore metal parody kicking off "Cat's Got Your Tongue" may be a bit late, but dang if it isn't hilarious anyway (and making the rest of the song a merry singalong is all the more fun). Then there's the rather foul-mouthed trading off of numbers on "Race Track," its own form of a cappella goodness. Calling one song "Punk Police" and making it a merry trashing of the "self-righteous" title characters may not be as political as the Dead Kennedys' "Nazi Punks F**k Off," but clearly the sentiment is the same. Best song title, even if the sentiments aren't universally agreed with? "(Everytime I Hear) Techno (I Pray for Death)" — though logically the band follows that up with "Breakfast Caramel," a sweet motorik/new wave chug that's perfectly danceable too.

Biography

Formed: 1982 in Sydney, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

One of Australia's most popular, most enduring, and most defiantly independent punk bands, the Hard-Ons have been around on and off since 1982. In that time they have been an influence on more than one generation of punk fans while earning respect from musicians around the world. Their own description their mix of punk, pop, and metal is "Motörhead playing the Beach Boys." Peter "Blackie" Black was one of many musicians inspired to form a band by the Sex Pistols. Unlike members of Joy Division and...
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