The Hard Lessons


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You might think the last thing the world needs is another garage rock band from Detroit, and you might just be right, but the Hard Lessons make a pretty strong case for their right to exist on their debut long-player, Gasoline. Agostino Visocchi's guitar isn't afraid to go for the gusto, Korin Louise Cox's keyboards hold down the bottom end while adding solid textures over the top, Christophe Zajac Denek's drums manage to sound splashy and in the pocket at once, and Visocchi and Cox's vocals boast style and attitude without wallowing in the same blooze-shot clich├ęs you've heard everyone else copping for years. (This writer is even willing to forgive the fact that Cox occasionally sounds a bit like Natalie Merchant, since she's obviously trying to live it down.) The band sounds tight and emphatic, and obviously are not afraid to work up a sweat, and while some of the songs work a lot better than others, tunes like the country-shot "All Over This Town" and the slow and melancholy "Love Gone Cold" at least prove they aren't afraid to change things up. Gasoline is good stuff from a band with genuine potential.

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