Monday, March 13


The English four-piece Hard-Fi is releasing their debut album, Stars of CCTV, in the U.S. tomorrow - a full year-and-a-half after its initial release. Of course, much has happened for these guys since then. A subsequent UK release in June of 2005 spawned a string of hit singles and nominations for two Brit Awards and the Mercury Prize. Then, earlier this year, Stars of CCTV went to #1 on the British charts.

In a way, I'm sorry that this record won't be eligible for my eventual 2006 Top 10 album list, since I've been pretty well underwhelmed by most of the things I've heard so far this year. I'm clearly never going to be a Fiery Furnaces fan. The new Flaming Lips was a huge disappointment for me. I found about four worthwhile songs each with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Neko Case, and Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins. But this damn Hard-Fi thing is pleasing me to no end. It's got a drive and energy to it that I've been needing, apparently (not to mention some boffo basslines). I don't care what critics want to call this type of music - rock, ska, punk, hip-hop, blah, blah, blah.... It just sounds like pretty great pop to me.

The band is currently playing some gigs on the West Coast and will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live this Wednesday night (along with Janet Reno!).

[MP3] "Feltham is Singing"

[MP3] "Gotta Reason"

[MP3] "Better Do Better"

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