The Joneses

Hard

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    6
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The sole album by the Joneses is a solid, if somewhat derivative, slab of guitar-based hard rock leavened with some smart pop hooks. The opening "Everything Changes" is the standout, a crunchy bag of hard candy pop with a memorable chorus and some tasty Cheap Trick-like riffs courtesy of lead guitarist Billy Loosigian. The rest of the album is a shade less memorable, though lead singer David Finnerty has a great, somewhat bluesy voice similar to Foreigner's Lou Gramm without the tendency toward histrionics, and there are a few more catchy tunes, like the requisite "done somebody wrong"/cheatin' song "Steppin' Out." The only problem is one of timing. Had Hard come out in 1981, when Foreigner and Loverboy were at the top of the charts, then the Joneses could have had a fruitful career opening for REO Speedwagon and the J. Geils Band. But in 1990, when this album came out, this brand of good-timey FM rock was years past its expiration date. Hard isn't a bad record for what it is, but it could hardly have been released at a more inopportune time.