There’s something gloriously familiar about this second long-player from UK bovver rockers Hard Wax, something that I can’t quite put my finger on, but it’s something that right from the very first spin has me beaming from ear to ear, so it must be something good right?
They say the make of any band is the strength of their tunes…and here on ‘This Is The Sound’ Wax main man Tom Boutwood (ably assisted by Paul Bond on drums, Tom Murphy on lead guitar and Matt Colton on bass) has penned some of the finest Oi! infused terrace anthems you’ll hear anywhere this year. Just like the recently released Michael Monroe album it’s not exactly groundbreaking or genre-bending stuff but sometimes I just need my punk rock music to be just that, straight ahead and no-frills, and right here on ‘This Is The Sound’ what you get for your entry money are ten premium cuts of bovver boy rock ‘n’ roll.
Kicking off with ‘Welcome To Bovver Rock City’ this just shy of two-minute long intro bears all the hallmarks of Hard Wax’s upcoming UK tour partners Giuda, albeit a Giuda fronted by someone who sounds a hell of a lot like Ginge Knievel. And that right there is the familiar thing I couldn’t quite put my finger on at the top, because at times during ‘This Is The Sound’ it’s just like Mr Knievel has returned from his self-imposed exile and is finally fronting the band he’s always wanted to front. The similarity really is uncanny, but trust me, there’s a whole lot more to this record that the singer sounding a hell of a lot like the ex-Sick Livers/Nicotine Pretty frontman.
Things really kick off in style on ‘Living The Dream’, a proper piece of punk rock argy bargy designed to get your oxblood a-stomping. Elsewhere ‘This is The Sound’, ‘Days Of Glory’ (ooh hello Sailor) and ‘Razor Part Rebels’ (complete with an otherworldly Ace Frehley guitar riff) all steam out the blocks full of cock-sure 70s glam rock swagger and just a few spins later you’ll be singing along like you’ve had this album in your life since your childhood.
When the world outside your window is slowly turning to shit ‘This Is The Sound’ is the perfect pick me up record with tracks like ‘Have A Good Time’ and ‘Not Just a Pin-Up Girl’ guaranteed to make you smile once again, and in ‘Boys Of A Saturday Night’ and ‘Stomp All Over The World’ you have the near perfect soundtrack for a right proper tear up…on the dancefloor of course.
Which just leaves ‘In For a Penny’, a track I went straight to when I first got my copy of ‘This Is The Sound’ simply because I initially thought “wow a Slade cover that’s gonna take some balls”. Well, it’s actually not a cover, although the guitar riff is equal parts Hill and Holder and it’s the kind of glorious call to arms tune that would have seen Hard Wax on Top Of The Pops had it been released back in the 70s.
With a whole raft of great new punk rock records released by UK bands in 2019 (if you think otherwise then you really do need to read RPM more) I’m delighted to say that ‘This Is The Sound’ is right up there with the very best of them.
Now go get your boots on and get down your record shop and get yourself a copy.
Buy this is the sound Here
Author: Johnny Hayward