2006 Surprise Attack Records
01. Sink or Swim MP3
03. Run in Place
04. Definition of Destruction
05. Road Warrior
06. Expectations of Success
Yes, we know this album is almost a year old. We don't care, we're posting this anyway.
There's something to be said for simplicity in hardcore. Sure, innovation has its place, but there is no substitute for a solid 90 second song of straightforward, energetic hardcore. Hey Boys, There's Beer and Pizza in the Fridge..., the latest 7" release by Pennsylvania's Hank Jones, is evidence that these guys have nailed down this simplistic approach to hardcore with ease and that they have no real desire to stray from it. In a current scene where so many bands are trying to set themselves apart from the pack by coming up with a new mish-mash of genres and influences, it's surprisingly refreshing to see Hank Jones sticking to the basics: a couple of chords, fast tempos, sing-a-longs, and of course, beer and pizza.
Hank Jones draws a lot of musical comparisons to the old school sound of bands like Minor Threat, Youth of Today, and more currently, Paint It Black. Fast chord progressions and straightforward song structures mixed with a few rock 'n roll lead guitar parts provides the basis for the six tracks on Hey Boys. The lyrical nature of the record is exactly as expected, as it deals with the standard hardcore topics of society, determination, and relationships. Much of it is relatively forgettable, but there are a few moments when vocalist Mike Torti displays some believable emotion, such as at the end of "Road Warrior" when he screams, "The people that we've met remind us that this is all worth it. Three cheers for the times we've shared together." It's obvious that these guys are in it for the love of the game, and that allows previously tired lyrical material to take on new life and authenticity.
The recording style also follows Hank Jones' no frills hardcore approach. Nothing is crisp and overproduced, and that's exactly how it should be done. The combination of the raw recording style and the energetic tracks has the effect of instantly making me wish I was witnessing the band live. Very few releases that come my way possess this quality and for that, Hank Jones, I salute you.
Bottom Line: Although Hey Boys. isn't groundbreaking or innovative in any type of way, it will definitely appeal to old school hardcore fans who love the simplicity of straightforward and energetic hardcore. This is hardcore to crack a beer (root, or otherwise) open to and just have a good time. This is hardcore done right.