The Hard Feelings Fought Back and Lost
(Sympathy for the Record Industry)
Fought Back and Lost (Sympathy for the Record Industry)
Reviewed by Christopher Gray, Fri., May 5, 2000
The Hard Feelings
Fought Back and Lost
(Sympathy for the Record Industry) Austin's musical registry is so crowded with punks more in tune with the vicious Howlin' Wolf than Sid Vicious himself -- Headhunters, Whiskey Dent, Crack Pipes, Enduro, Gravy Boat, and granddaddy of 'em all, Big Foot Chester -- it's enough to make you think they're onto something. The Hard Feelings are only the latest local band to come along and open that Stagger Lee vein, but the single-minded ferocity of the trio's pit-bull attack makes them an instant force to be reckoned with. Fought Back and Lost conjures up one of those all-too-frequent gin-soaked dark nights of the soul at Hole in the Wall, where the only redemption available comes in crushing waves of fuzz-guitar and a pulverizing rhythmic assault. Those who remember the corpulent Ernie Locke's barbecue-sauce-soaked Tenderloin revivals at Emo's a few years back may find themselves with an unexpected lump in their throat, and not from swallowing too much Wild Turkey. Greasier than a plate of Sam's Eastside finest, this R&B brisket simmers with the barely contained bug-eyed frenzy of someone who just blew his last assistance check on the lotto and is now prowling the shadowy stretches of South First for someone to roll. It ain't pretty, but oh, it sure feels good. In the words of postmodern Delta prophet Jon Spencer, play the blues, punk!