Hard Action - Sinister Vibes (Svart Records)

Retroactive garage punkin' goodness...
Release Date: 
11 Jul 2015 - 11:30pm

The most surprising thing about recidivist rock troupe Hard Action is that they hail from Finland as opposed to the normal Swedish issuing point for retro-rockin' guitar-driven rock n’roll bands. After you’ve learned that one salient point and pressed play, you’ll be fully equipped to spend the next half an hour safe in the knowledge that no more nasty surprises are coming your way.

The Hellacopters are an obvious reference point here, though any straight-up rock n’roll outfit of the last forty years worth their salt will flit through your consciousness whilst you listen to Sinister Vibes. Night Moves is less breakneck, more Stonesy, whereas opener Dead Dogs is every bit as frantic as you’d expect from a band who are dedicated, according to their facebook page, to ‘100 per cent guitar destruction’’. But whichever direction they follow, you pays yer money, your takes yer choice – it’s all rock n’roll to Hard Action.

Deadweight (Cut Me Loose) is another highlight, if only because the guitars stop for a while and allow some nice motoring bass from A-P Heinola to shine through before guitarists Ville Valavuo and Gunter Kivioja (who also handles vocals) explode back out of the speakers in a mini-Skynyrdesque orgy of duelling axe mayhem.

The excellent Watch Me Burn is fiery power pop in excelsis, the sort of thing you could have heard blasting out of many a North London music venue in the late seventies, whilst following track, Hey You (which, strangely enough, is probably the closest thing to a to a ‘hit single’ to appear on Sinister Vibes) has veins of Motorheadish infection poking out of its pale Scandinavian skin; like I said, all human rock n’roll life is here…

The title track is more conventional in it’s Scandi-rocking yobbishness, a kinda Hellacopters duking it out with the blessed Backyard Babies scenario, and I have to say I’m lovin’every minute of it. There’s nothing even in the same post code as original on SV, but as a beer drinking, hell raising party soundtrack album it’s gonna do just fine this summer in South London. Great stuff.