banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

CD REVIEW: HARD-ONS – Too Far Gone [Expanded Reissue]

| 12 November 2015 | 1 Reply

CD REVIEW: HARD-ONS – Too Far Gone [Expanded Reissue]
Citadel Records
June 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Hard-ons Too Far Gone

The Too Far Gone era was awkward for the trio of reprobates that made up the Hard-Ons. They’d had four pretty damned successful and influential independent albums that took them right around the world. Now they were changing, evolving. They wanted to try new things and, a few years older, they were growing up, having relationships. Life changes. They grew apart.

Too Far Gone itself wasn’t loved at the time of its 1993 release. Blackie’s riffs were bigger than ever before, denser… they overshadowed the melodies a bit. I recall not loving the album much, and by that stage I had bought every single piece of vinyl and CD they had ever released… to my unenlightened young mind it felt like a betrayal of their hypermelodic punkypop roots.

With the benefit of hindsight I can attest that Too Far Gone is actually a really cool album: it holds up brilliantly and of course my own tastes have evolved (slower than theirs) to see what they were trying to do, and appreciate it infinitely more than I did at the time.

Sadly it was the last hurrah for the first lifetime of the band: they broke up shortly after the album release and wouldn’t regroup for five more years. Drumming singer Keish DeSilva would make only one more album with the band after reforming, 1993’s This Terrible Place, but it’s these first five albums he will always be most remembered for.

Citadel Records have done an amazing job curating the official Hard-Ons reissue series which this new expanded version of Too Far Gone completes, coupling each of those first five albums with all the b-sides, EP tracks, tribute album contributions and other obscurities they could dig up with live performances and demos.

Like the previous four reissue sets, this is a double CD set with a lavish booklet full of rare or previously unpublished photos and new essays from Blackie, Ray & Keish, as well as former manager Tim Pittman. Each of them pull no punches in admitting that the band was going through difficult times, and all remain equally disappointed with the initial reception of the album. [sorry guys – as happens with truly influential acts, you were simply ahead of your time and we needed time to catch up!]

Disc two features a veritable treasure chest of demos from 1992, as well as a double fisted handful of outtakes from the album sessions, which include a stack of unreleased songs such as Something Is Wrong, Crawley Haired Girl, Seventy Eight and Letter Day.

It may be too late for Hard-Ons to start again with a whole new generation of fans, but as all we devotees of the band know, no matter which phase they were going through – pop punk, punk, metal, bubblegum and more have all been fair game to these unlikely superheroes – they were never short of interesting, and this reissue of Too Far Gone deserves to be looked at with fresh eyes and ears, and given a much fairer reappraisal in terms of their own back catalogue.

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad