Could be the best album they’ve ever made

After surviving a scandal that would put paid to almost any artist, The Hard-Ons pulled off one of the most surprising coups of recent music history with the recruitment of all-round Aussie rock legend Tim Rogers.

What this mutual admiration society was likely to come up with was always going to be interesting, but this is simply spectacular.  Recorded in just two days, I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken sounds like an album from a band who’ve been playing together for decades. They have been together for decades, of course, but not with Rogers. That Rogers has slotted straight into the line-up, with zero transition, as if he’d always been there shows the remarkable talent of the man and how right the Hard-Ons were to trust he would be right for the job.

It’s difficult to fault an album this good. Each track bursts with the typical infectious energy and sharply focused song-writing the Hard-Ons have made their own, with perhaps the strongest and most diverse vocal performances to be found across their records.

Hold Tight bounces out of the gate, straight-up Buzzcocks worship right off the bat (check the cover art), Fucked Up Party sounds like exactly that and Pucker Up is a full tilt punk rock workout. Blackie’s guitar slashes across Rogers’ frantic vocal on the rumbling Frequencies, the album’s longest track. Needles and Pins (sic) sounds like something from one of Blackie’s solo albums just as Home Sweet Home has echoes of You Am I with its bright pop melody and hand-claps, and Humiliated Humiliator gives everyone a taste of Tim Rogers singing heavy metal.

Hard-Ons albums have long offered this level of diversity, but there’s something about the immediacy and intensity of the performance here that elevates I’m Sorry Sir… to a new level, a validation if any was needed that this is, and always has been, one smoking rock and roll band. This could be the best album they’ve ever made.

  1. Hold Tight
  2. Fucked Up Party
  3. Pucker Up
  4. Lite as a Feather
  5. Back Pack Sweat
  6. Frequencies
  7. Home Sweet Home
  8. Humiliated Humiliator
  9. The Laws of Gossip
  10. Needles and Pins (sic)
  11. Shove it Down
  12. Shoot Me in the Back