Riding in on a wave of publicity that has Dave Grohl proclaiming them his "New Favourite Band", "HiFi Handgrenades" actually have a much more marketable Unique Selling Point, in that the band actually features the song writing talents of "John Speck", who has previously cut his teeth in the hugely underrated "Paybacks" and most recently in the awesome power poppers "The Fags".
Formed with the ex "Suicide
Machines" rhythm section of "Rich Tschirhart" and "Ryan
Vandenberghe" on bass and drums respectively, following the demise of "The
Fags". John had the explicit intention of delivering a band reflective
of the US scene that had previously spawned such great bands as "Dagnasty"
and "The Replacements".
"Grande National's" Tony Vegas on second guitar and vocals completes "HiFi Handgrenades" line up.
Throughout the ten tracks on this Debut CD, it is "Mr Speck" that is the stellar attraction, think "Elvis Costello" meets "Jim Bacchi" at a "Tsar/Redd Kross" keg party and you will be not a million miles away from the infectious melodies of "Around Again" or album opener "Cut Strings".
With the band about to embark
on an extensive UK Tour that also sees them supporting "Millencolin",
"Carry On" actually makes me think of what was missing from their
recent "Machine 15" album and how that "WOW Factor" is most
certainly in flowing over in the songs on offer here.
"Detroit Has A Skyline" has me thinking of how great a band "Dillon Fence" once were, whilst "John Speck's" voice, all gravely rough and deliciously sweet seduces you into the awesome title track of "Carry On" on a hook designed to be played a million times world over.
If however, I were to single out one track from "Carry On" designed to make you feel good even on your most shittiest day of this or any year, then it would be "Stupid". Hugely reminiscent of something off Costello's "My Aim Is True" or "Owsley's" self titled work of power pop genius, this track has hit written all over it. "Stupid" it most certainly isn't.
"Carry On" by "HiFi Handgrenades" is released on August 26th 2008; that's a full 3 days after they become "Reading Festivals new favourite band" as well.
Infectious hard-edged pop punk doesn't get better than this. Buy it.
5 out of 5
by Johnny H.
Visit the HiFi Handgrenades Website