This is the Eleventh studio album from Pretenders and I can honestly say I’ve not felt a real buzz off one of their records coming out since the second one came out way back in 1981 almost forty years ago! Gulp. sure they’ve hit paydirt in the pop charts since but they’ve not really dished out a record bristling with top tunes, until now that is. Damn, On the second single off the album ‘The Buzz’ shes even managed to recreate the vibe of ‘Kid’ on that guitar break. It appears that the past might have been embraced and maybe explored in order to strip back those past forty years to create ‘Hate For Sale’ which seems an odd title because there seems to be an overwhelming “love” going on.
The other noticeable feature is a sparkling production that lets everything breathe where it needs to and the crunchy dirty bits are backstreet dirty and not polished into oblivion fake dirty.
Hyndes vocals are as good as they ever were sounding fresh and captivating and at times comforting.
In the first four tracks, you have everything that made the original line up such a great band. A roaring call to arms on the intro track and album title followed by the more pop-friendly ‘The Buzz’ Something different and maybe a little risky in ‘Lightning Man’ and the rock-solid handclap heavy ‘Turf Accountant Daddy’ then to close off side one the retro pop ballad of ‘You Can’t Hurt A Fool’ which might be the weakest on side one with its soul trappings but Hyndes vocal is exceptional and delivers a stunning performance that elevates the whole song which is anything but tokenistic.
It’s great to drop the needle onto side two and hear the power chords clash and strut on ‘I Don’t Know When To Stop’ enhanced with some great gob iron blowing and a bowery staggering solo. Then to bump straight into ‘Maybe Love Is In NYC’ which makes a great dive bar buddie maybe not as strong but great to hear those guitars being rinsed with passion and some attack.
Chrissie Hynde might well have found her Mojo and really delivered a great record. there isn’t one weak track on offer and whilst side two might lack the variety that you have on the opening few songs they are immensely enjoyable like the punky hand jive of ‘Don’t Want To Be This Lonely’. To be fair the piano balladeering of the albums closer ‘Crying In Public’ had to be and the strings and big chords make it listenable without becoming lush or too polished and it retains the feel of the rest of the record and has grit and charm.
Pretenders have turned back the clock and knocked out one of 202s finest records without any shadow of a doubt. It’s short, sharp and exactly the pick me up needed during this oddest of summers. Something new with an old feel that’s comforting and downright bloody entertaining. ‘Hate For Sale’? Yes please.
Buy ‘Hate For Sale’ Here
Author: Dom Daley