The Hard AchesMess

Anchorhead
13 April, 2018
6
Comfortably made

Adelaide has given us fridge artists and musicians who have worked very hard in order to get their art heard by the wider Australian public.

The Hard Aches are no exception; this hard working indie rock duo has been recording and gigging tirelessly for a number of years. The fruits of their labor has resulted in the imminent release of the bands 2nd album Mess dealing with the universal and sensitive subject matter of mental health.

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The 12-track album is filled with singer songwriter Ben Davis’s emotive voice and distorted, sunny guitar tones making you think instantly of 90’s grunge and 00’s pop punk.

Melbourne producer Sam Johnson and Grammy award winning engineer Williams Bowden certainly put in a lot of their creative ideas adding horns to the compositions alongside interesting mixing techniques and effects. Davis also shares vocals duties with guests Georgia Maq from Camp Cope, Craig Selak from The Bennies/Super Duper and Long Island resident Jeff Rosenstock giving the album the punk ethos that The Hard Aches express quite coherently in their music vocabulary.

The one weakness of Mess is perhaps how little the sound evolves, each track is not too dissimilar to the next and that might be OK for an E.P but an entire album of the same music gets slightly tedious. The Hard Aches deliver in skillful songwriting but their minimal instrumentation doesn’t quite satisfy, maybe it could do with a few more musicians added to the band’s line up and they should really start to explore beyond the indie rock and pop punk walls they have comfortably made for themselves.

STANDOUT TRACKS: Mess, Get Outta My House and Grinding My Teeth
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