The Hard Feelings

Record Review

Phases and Stages

The Hard Feelings

You Won't Like It ('Cuz It's Rock & Roll!) (Beerland) The Hard Feelings' sophomore effort plays like a cross between the MC5 and Jimmy Reed. The local trio's first release on Sympathy for the Record Industry was a bit ragged at times, but it's obvious the band's rhythm section has sucked it up quite a bit since then. Guitarist Schooley does a snotty snarl that works well on "The Boss Is Me" and "Half in the Morning," in particular, and lays down some thick slices of Telecaster rawk to boot, while guest Walter Daniels stabs some mean harp work into the latter song. "Hollywood Lives Laid Bare" calls to mind the Lazy Cowgirls' three-and-a-half-chord approach, half in the bag and lookin' for trouble. "Those Boys" even flirts with melody, while "Swagger" does exactly what the title says. What sets these Austinites apart from the armies of punk outfits, rage-rock bands, roots revivalists, etc., is the complete lack of posturing or pretense about what they're doing. When you hear a Hard Feelings disc, you're hearing them for what they are, not some carefully crafted amalgam of hair, clothes, flavor-of-the-week musical styles, and chick-bait recycled hooks. It's hard to find a band these days that you can honestly say that about. Hell, check out the title to this disc.

*** .5

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