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HARDWARES

CONEY HATCH

Four

Universal

Reviewed by : Martin Popoff
Rating : 8.0

The fortuitous thing about Canuck hard rock legends CONEY HATCH is that they broke up just before hair metal got silly. Ergo, as a delectable proposition of proto-hair metal—sort of hair meets AC/DC—they were here and gone with just three albums, ‘82’s Coney Hatch, ‘83’s Outta Hand and ‘85’s Friction. Now they are back, never making their hair album or their hard alternative album, but like they’ve never been away. Actually, if anything, Four sits loud ‘n’ proud between the classic debut and the slicker second. Co-lead vocalists Andy Curran (successful solo career after Coney) and Carl Dixon (almost all the way back after a horrific car accident in Australia where he broke, shattered and splattered almost everything), are the starry dimension of these shiny, solid-framed songs, Andy with his Dennis The Menace voice and Carl with his Dennis The Menace looks but clarion pipes, a great team, whether it’s singin’ or writing perfectly, almost Nashville perfect. Whether it’s charged first video ‘Blown Away’ or ‘Down ‘n’ Dirty or ‘Keep Driving’ or ‘Connected’, it’s the same buoyant party vibe as their cover of Angel City’s ‘Marseille’, and we all go away happy. Elsewhere, the guys craft poppier CHEAP TRICK-inflected hard rock fare—totally expected—and a nice closing ballad called ‘Holding On’. But it’s the sum total that’s impressive, with Coney Hatch skilfully placing specifically that thumbprint right down on their unique sliver of the rock pie as addressed 30 years ago, namely this oeuvre built of slabs of melodic, accessible guitars over a driving yet simple beat, superlative songwriting with a less-is-more surety, and then two great personalities to run riot o’er top.



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