Dream Theater have been at the top of the game for such a long time …
Barnstorming into your eardrums with opening lead single Hold Tight–a catchy slice of power-pop brilliance–the hilariously titled I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken (we’re totally buying that T-shirt, BTW!) documents a band re-energised by the soulful pipes of new lead singer Tim Rogers (You Am I).
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Even though this entire album was largely written before Rogers was welcomed into the fold (he scores songwriting credits on just two tracks: Frequencies and The Laws Of Gossip), the You Am I frontman’s charismatic presence is ever-present throughout Hard-Ons’ 13th studio album.
This infectious record deals rollercoaster-level exhilaration alongside that special brand of Hard-Ons humour (see: Fucked Up Party and Back Pack Sweat), with Rogers’ adaptable vocal delivery satisfying the needs of each individual song. Elsewhere: Rogers brings an unhinged ferocity to the pummelling riff-fest that is Frequencies; Home Sweet Home is a clap-happy standout pop moment; resplendent with knee-buckling guitar solo, Humiliated/Humiliator represents classic Hard-Ons metal mastery (for the purists); and Needles And Pins employs a Motown-inspired backbeat paired with blissful vocal harmonies.
Recorded over two-and-a-half days, I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken is the sound of four musical forces at the top of their game and clearly inspired by new found possibilities, both sonic and harmonic.
Hard-Ons have been flexing their punk-rock muscles for almost 40 years and now with Rogers out front, serving the verve, the melodic structures within these 12 songs truly pop. Recorded over two-and-a-half days, I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken is the sound of four musical forces at the top of their game and clearly inspired by new found possibilities, both sonic and harmonic.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Frequencies, Home Sweet Home, Humiliated/Humiliator
PUT THIS NEXT TO: Poison Idea, The Jam, Ramones