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HOONAustralian Dream

14th April, 2023
Punk Mayhem

A raucous delight that rattles distortion and garage punk mayhem with measured disorder, the debut full length from Wollongong quartet HOON is one of the most authentic albums to emerge from the pandemic years so far.

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Showcasing a marked evolution from their DIY-soaked earlier entries, including 2017’s self-titled release and 2019’s Hoon 2.0, Australian Dream still flexes plenty of roughness around its edges, while also taking firm thematic aim at delusions of an idyllic life.

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Opening in acerbic fashion via the grunge-ridden Acab, Australian Dream emerges with nostalgic and angst-ridden raw rock flavours before cavorting into the album’s high-octane title track. The discordant beauty that is Fried follows next, revelling in full blown punk intensity and hurling in a sweltering breakdown for good measure. Grooves abound on the One Bad Apple, before punk mayhem reigns supreme on Lifeless and All In. Diving deeper into Australian Dream’s second half, the head-banger’s delight that is White Picket Fence oscillates stripped-back arrangements without losing the trademark Hoon snarl, while Force Fed ricochets up to 11, Propane ferociously scowls, Smashed in the Yard busts out menaced toe-tapping delights and, bringing the album to a riotous close is none other than Aeroplane Mode.

As unwavering and formidable as the steel that lends itself to their hometown’s moniker, Australian Dream is an album not to be missed. 

An album packed full of noise and rock‘n’roll that’ll delight both new and not-so-new fans of the punk, rock and grunge universes, Australian Dream is as equally hard-hitting and focused as it is authentic. Retaining a sense of trademark chaos that HOON pioneered throughout their earlier years, Australian Dream instead faces staunchly forward, drilling down on the band’s strengths and emerges as an album that feels dangerously close to careening into a fuzzed-up abyss as much as it holds up an honest mirror at the hypocrisy and corruption abundant in modern life. But rather than come across as preachy, Australian Dream instead merely signposts the stark realities facing society, soundtracked to some searing and enjoyable punk and/or garage rock. The “Australian dream” itself may be an ever-growing fairytale amid endless inflation, life after lockdown and beyond, but HOON manage to emerge with 11 tracks that comfortably tackle discomfort and gnarled punk throughout their new album. As unwavering and formidable as the steel that lends itself to their hometown’s moniker, Australian Dream is an album not to be missed. 

STANDOUT TRACKS: Australian Dream, Fried, One Bad Apple

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