And so it was that on a bright and cheerful Friday afternoon I popped this CD into my cars' stereo and was instantly confused. I had only just finished reading the tracklist, so to see the first track appear under a different name than what was labeled on the back cover of the CD was confusion point number 1. The actual sound style was confusion point number 2.


I had this pre-conceived notion that the Hard-Ons were a hard-core punk rock outfit. As I listened to the first couple of tracks I couldn't help but feel like I was hearing the latest collaboration from Spiderbait, The Dandy Warhols and The Spazzys. I started to feel like someone had screwed up the labeling of the CD (and the fact that my car stereo was telling me I was listening to "So Glad" when the tracklist told me track #1 was "What Would Stiv Bators Do" was not helping me in the slightest!). Trying to drive and figure this quandary out was not a good idea! (And where are the damn lyrics when you need them?)


The style of sound issue may well be answered by the sub-title the band have given their latest offering, "The Pop Album". I would describe "Most People Are A Waste Of Time" as pop/punk/rock. For a band that have been around for just over 20 years –and who have at least double that amount of releases- one would expect a shift in sound style. After all, this Australian trio has their roots in punk metal.


This album can definitely be described as catchy. With a lot or repetitive lyrics I found myself able to sing along after just a few listens. But as a whole I found this album rather pedestrian. A few tracks stood out of the crowd. I enjoyed "There Goes One Of The Creeps That Hassled My Girlfriend" and "Bubble Bath" (aka "Creeps" and "Never Ask For Anything") but although the rest of the album was enjoyable it just seemed quite mediocre. There was nothing outstanding about it in other words.


If you are a long-term fan of the Hard-Ons I really have no idea how you will feel about this album but if you like pop music mixed with a touch of punk rock (and if you want to support Australian music like we all should) then give these guys a try.

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