Published on February 18, 2014 | by Lauren Bridgeman

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Review: Hard-Fi: Best of 2003-2014

★★★★★

Hard-fi perform live

Hard-Fi’s album Stars of CCTV, released in 2005, was arguably the band’s most successful body of work. [Flickr: Loops Photography.]

The last decade has proven that if there is something us Brits do best, it’s music. Search the world a hundred times over and there is no place quite like the UK when it comes to nurturing classic, indie rock bands; we really have done this wonderfully well.

It would seem there is something about the rainy towns and DIY dreams of the late nineties that inspired a generation of young creative minds – minds who have kept the timelessness and experience of grit pop alive ever since.

First turning heads in the early 2000s Hard-Fi, a quartet from Staines, immersed themselves in this scene with gusto and drive. As a result, they fast received shining reviews from the British music press following their most successful body of work, Stars Of CCTV, which reached number one in January 2006. Fast-forward ten years and three studio albums later, we can now relive this journey with them.

Hard-Fi: Best Of 2004-2014 , is a record’s worth of recollection, tapping into all the dynamics of solid, anthem indie rock. With an impressive nineteen tracks, the album takes us on a journey of nostalgia and intense guitar work.

Exhilarating

Instantly recognisable numbers remind us just why this band is so excellent. Opening track Cash Machine stirs with a silky bass line and a slick melody, while Hard To Beat is just as exhilarating and punchy as we all remember it was. Each and every track holds its own little charm and intricate arrangement.

What makes frontman Richard Archer such a talented musician is the diversity he holds both vocally and sonically; the four-piece are architects when it comes to crafting the music they make, reflected perfectly on stand out track Move On Now.

The brittle sounds of the opening vocal and piano patters seem to hold a darkness, almost as if deep human desire is unrivalled in this track. Better Do Better is arresting, retelling the angst of a break-up in its entire bitter density. In short, there are some powerful tracks to get through.

Brand new track Move Over is also on the record, and is a welcoming return in showcasing Archer’s natural excellence in writing perceptive and powerful lyrics.

Here is a band that are proud of the work they have created – and rightly so. If any band has the capability to evoke the feelings of nostalgia in their listeners, it’s Hard-Fi.

 

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