This excellent, risk-taking CD is taken from two of William Hooker's gigs at New York's CBGB -- one on August 16, 1994 and the other on December 1, 1995. On both nights, the drummer provides an explosive yet atmospheric mixture of free jazz and rock that only the most adventurous listeners will appreciate. Free-form instrumentals such as "Lincoln's Microchip," "The TV Wall" and "Slaughtered Lambs" don't follow a conventional melody/solos/melody structure, but rather find Hooker and his sidemen (who include Doug Walker on keyboards, Donald Miller or Jesse Henry on electric guitar and Richard Keene on sax) simply taking a theme or a mood and improvising on it in a very stream-of-consciousness, outside fashion. With his outrageous, space-is-the-place electronics, Walker proves to be a major asset for the daring Hooker. To be sure, music this "out there" isn't for everyone, but those with a taste for the avant-garde will find Hard Time to be a most thrilling excursion.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson