Back in the 1980s there were some intriguing new sounds developing. Post-punk was always arty and a bit noisier, but always so serious. New Wave was danceable and synthetic, but sometimes not serious enough. The commonality between the two, tonally, was an exploration of new soundscapes with inhuman tones: finding a balance between a detached dystopian environment and the nuance of human emotion. Why am I rambling about this in 2020? Because All Hits have struck a chord in between the two. On Men And Their Work, All Hits have the peppy rhythms of New Wave with the brunt force of post-punk. For good measure, this record also seethes with the anger of hardcore and -- for still more depth -- is complemented by an ability to sing that’s puts it in its own category.
At their heart, All Hits is probably a hardcore band, but sonically that’s not the case. This music is blunt and direct. Even when the band uses metaphor, it’s to the point (for example: “melts like ice in the sun” in “Sugar Supply”). Elsewhere, you can practically read the captions as the band shouts out lines like “You’re a big man, aren’t you/ You’re a big man, what are you gonna do?” (“Class Traitor”). Hell, they have a song named “World Is A Fuck.” Part of me just wants to end on that note because it’s brilliant in its truncated, bastardized grammar.
Because every record needs to be shoehorned into a category at the record store or streaming service, I guess we’ll call this post-punk because that seems to be the point in the middle where everything meets. Men And Their Work is angry hardcore with singalong moments, danceable beats, fiery hardcore, a couple celebratory “woos” and a whole lot of rage. There are 9 songs in total an each explores a new terrain while managing a singular sound that connects it all together. Sometimes she sings to a pop refrain, sometimes it’s belted out anger then, elsewhere, the band takes angular post-punk turns. The music is nuanced and detailed in contrast to the stark lyricism and vocals. All the while it’s political, upbeat and energetic. It’s not a life changing record, but I enjoy it. Fans of The Coathangers may want to take note.
7.3 / 10
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