The Hardtits – Demo 2008 (Jamendo)
The Hardtits… Jazz, Punk, Rock, Ska and an excellent, if slightly random, name for your average English listener. Theoretically there’s absolutely nothing to dislike here, except perhaps the Jazz but even that could be forgiven in light of the rest of the claimed styles and the fact that the French actually seem to do upbeat Jazz quite well (i.e. Trio). Theory and reality though are a million miles apart as any fule know and with this lot the intent isn’t really reflected in the end result.
Listening through this brief EP there’s nothing to really dislike The Hardtits for, well, the sound quality is pretty bad for the most part but given that it’s a Demo that can’t really be held against them too much. Instrumentally they’re alright, proficient would be the word and listening to what they’re trying to do they’re quite endearing but like a kitten trying to fight it’s own reflection it’s more endearing stupidity than charm.
There are Punk parts here, there are Ska parts, there are Rock parts, there are Jazzy parts but despite having the apparent ability to do each of them the band never quite seem to pull it off. When they aspire to Punking out you can hear the lead singer doing his bit well enough (he is without doubt their strong point here) but the rest of the band seem to be leaning back, relaxing, playing through what’s supposed to be a fast paced, pogoing tune as if it’s easy-listening Jazz. When a Ska flavour comes out you get the same thing, the band seem reluctant to offer up anything worth Skanking to which leaves you thinking that either they just can’t pull it off (so why try?) or they just can’t be arsed (so why bother?). The same applies throughout really, the lead singer throws himself into the style of whatever he’s doing, the band hang behind as if they’re embaressed and it eventually just starts sounding like technical deficiency, which I’m not entirely sure is the case, charitable soul that I am.
There’s hope here, hope, a need for some decent recording equipment, a long chat about exactly what they want to do and a bit more passion about the whole affair. Listenable and pleasing in moments but neither consistent enough nor polished enough to be worth proper attention, just go and listen to Trio or some Punk or The Skatalites depending on your mood.