You can’t half tell the folks at Unbelievably Bad zine are Hard-Ons fans. So is anyone with a modicum of taste. So this edition of UB should sell its arse off. It’s wall-to-wall Hard-Ons. More Hard-Ons, in fact, than the US Navy on shore leave after six months at sea.
hard-ons - The I-94 Bar
The exhaustive program of bonus-packed re-issues by Australia’s favourite pop-punk shit-stirrers the Hard-Ons continues unabated with 1990’s “Yummy” getting the treatment.
Hard-Ons and Nunchukka Superfly bass player, chatterbox and all-round nice guy, Ray Ahn, has been telling entertaining yarns on his Facebook feed for eons.
They've irrevent, rollicking tales that have taken on a life of their own lately, generating a big following and constant comments to the effect that Ray should write a book.
He's done the next best thing and is putting his stories into a blog. You can read it here.
Fessin' up first: I didn't much like "Dickcheese" when it originally came out in 1988. You didn't need liner notes to hear the overt heavy metal influences. The album swung from catchy punk-pop with buried melodies to bottom-heavy stoner riffing. There was no lack of energy but the mix sounded muddy and bore little resemblance to the sound of the Hard-Ons live. Many years down the track and all that stylistic bouncing around makes much more sense.
It’s leading up to the Festive Season but don’t expect to hear Christmas carols at Sydney Rock 'n' Roll & Alternative Market on Sunday, November 26.
Hard-Ons - just back from a successful European tour and pictured above- and swamp rock elder statesmen Kim Salmon head the musical entertainment.
Yes, you’ll get the usual range of cottage and unique goods, records, Tiki mugs, art, homewares, food, drinks, fashion and Tiki mugs at The Manning Bar at Sydney University.
But you’ll also cop a double blast of Hard-Ons and Salmon, the latter in solo mode after hisnational tour by the classic line-up of his old band, The Scientists.
Joining them earlier in the day are Hanks Jalopy Demons, Keiron McDonald Combo and the usual array of DJs. Entry is $6 before 12pm and $8 after, with kids under 12 free.
The famed I-94 Bar podcast Drunk and Disorderly is back. Download it, stream it, do whatever the fuck it is that you do. Tracklist after the More button...
The Hard-Ons are vinyl fans. They believe, like many others who are a bit greyer, that vinyl records that were released before the digital age tell fascinating stories about the song/artist/record label, that streaming and MP3s can’t quite relay.
The band is playing two shows this month that celebrate vinyl. The big news is that the first 120 punters to arrive at the June 1 show at the Chippendale Hotel in Sydney and the June 2 gig at the Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle will receive a discretely brown paper-bagged seven-inch single from the personal collection of the band members
Says Ray Ahn: “There are 240 random records culled from our personal collections and the like. Some are GREAT. Some are good. Some are OK. Some are pretty shithouse. All are from another time and place, there will be records from 50’s, 60’s, 70’s 80’s. In addition, three mega-rare Hard-Ons records that are probably worth a fair amount from the HARD-ONS’ archive will be up for grabs to six lucky punters.”
The band promises loads of Hard-Ons seven-inch records will be on sale at the merch table as well, including some long deleted rarities.
FRI 1 JUNE: CHIPPO HOTEL with WHITE DOG + HELLEBORES
SAT 2 JUNE: CAMBRIDGE Hotel NEWCASTLE + Human Failure + Obat Batuk
And later this month, the Hard-Ons hit Europe again:
Hard-Ons in Europe
20 - TBA
21 – La Rochelle
22 - Clisson, Hellfest
24 - Orleans, Blue Devil
25 - Essen, Don't Panic
26 - Osnabrück, Bastard Club
27 - Hamburg, Port Klang
28 - Berlin, music & peace
29 – Tampere
Those pop-punk-metal-psych-whatever legends the Hard-Ons are having a 30th birthday party and Australia (and anyone who wants to fly in from overseas) is invited.
Here's where the affair ended, for a time - I never got into the sound of "Love Is a Battlefield…" There were some great songs (or singles) here, for sure ("Missing Me, Missing You", "Don't Wanna See You Cry", "Just Being With You") that were among the band's best, but there was something about the shiny, semi-polished metallic sheen (coming after the confusing "Dickcheese") that pushed this album to the back of the collection.
His nearest and dearest might know him as Peter but you'll most likely recognise him as Blackie from the Hard-Ons. Not that this, his second solo album, bears much relation to that esteemed band's fast and furious output. "No Dangerous Gods…" is off-the-wall, whip-smart and often lush acoustic rock that suggests Syd Barrett more than Sid Vicious.
This is the closest thing you'll see to a full-blown reunion of seminal Perth band The Victims.
For one night only, The Television Addicts will perform songs by The Victims with origional members Dave Flick (nee Faulkner), James Baker and Ray Ahn (Hard-Ons, Nunchukka Superfly) at Perth's Rosemont Hotel on August 9.
Tickets will be available from June 25 from www.oztix.com.au
It’s hard to work out when Hard-Ons ceased being just another band and evolved into an unstoppable force of nature. Thirty-four years after publicly emerging into the dim lights of an inner Sydney pub stage, this indefatigable trio keep punching out albums when most of their contemporaries have long put their own cues in the rack.
Ask any record tragic. There’s a tried and tested rule for albums. Most long-lasting bands deliver one or two gems at their high point and the rest are shit or on a plateau. “Peel Me Like A Egg” easily stacks up against most of the Hard-Ons’ 10 previous studio efforts. It’s not so much because the band has stayed true its composite punk, metal, speedcore and pop roots (it’s always good to know what you’re going to get) as much as they’ve managed to make each release sound fresh.
Would you buy a song a day from this man?
Peter "Blackie" Black, notably of the Hard-Ons and Nunchukka Superbly, has always done things differently. He’s taking his own path again as a solo artist, releasing a song a day via his Bandcamp site Subscribe to Peter Black Solo.
Why, you ask?? When we asked him, after scrunching his face for a few minutes, his reply was: "Why not!"
Hard-Ons and Nunchukka Superfly co-founder, Peter Black, (aka Blackie) is launching his third full solo album with an Australian tour that includes a run of dates as special guest support to King Buzzo of The Melvins.
"The Paintings On The Wall Say Gambler! Gambler!" is said to be "a flaming solid ball of creative explosion, whereby storm-trooping guitars and rhythm" that abandons the storm-trooping sounds of Hard-Ons and Nunchukka for "beautiful, introspective and whimsical".
Not the original EP but a collection comprising it, the bits-and-pieces LP "Hot For Your Love Baby", early singles and live and rare cuts, this is the first of a series of re-issues putting the first 10 years of the Hard-Ons' recordings in one place. We're talking a feast here with this 1984-87 package containing 61 songs and spanning 150 minutes.
The fifth and final chapter of the Hard-Ons re-issues of all their pre-sabbatical releases on Citadel Records is upon us and it’s a bumper crop.
1992’s “Too Far Gone” was the last Hard-Ons record before they broke up (temporarily) in ’93 and remains one of their most off-the-wall and adventurous offerings.
In the spirit of previous re-issues, Citadel is packaging it as a two-CD set with a whopping 53 tracks.
The original 14-track album is complemented by outtakes, live cuts and demo’s in a six-panel fold-out wallet.
We could go on at length but can’t do better than the media release (Click MORE):
It might be apt to drop in some Dylan to catch your attention from the get-go (“There’s something happening here and you don’t know what it is/ Do you, Mr Jones?”) but it’s not necessary. Cutting to the chase, Peter Black is using melodies and colouring here to make a solo album that’s his most captivating to date.
Impossible to ignore Aussie magazine "Unbelievably Bad" is celebrating its milestone 13th issue with a live gig and more at Sydney's Factory Theatre on July 19. Kicking off at 4pm in the arvo and going long into the night, the event will feature a healthy line-up of bands and a record fair.
Twenty bucks gets you live performances by Meat Cake, White Knuckle Fever, Chinese Burns Unit, Join The Amish, Hostile Objects, The VeeBees...plus a very special guest band.
This lavish double CD package closes the lid on the first life of the Hard-Ons, nicely. Not in the literal sense of the term. Far from it. It's like a skateboard ride down a very rough track, a mix of disparate hardcore and metal songs that sits at odds with much of what came before.
When the original album came out in mid-1993, nobody knew (but band members could sense) that it was the last recording by the Hard-Ons with their original line-up. That's the context and it now makes sense.
It’s funny how records released in the past evoke specific memories when revisited years later. For me, this one doesn’t throw up much. I think I bought it well after it came out. It seems lots of fans shared that indifference.
“Yummy!” marked the Hard-Ons’ arrival on a major label's promotional roster and you had to be mad, deaf, both or no longer breathing not to hear the greatness in the songs. A decade-and-a-half later with a re-mastering job in place, it sounds even better.