Reviews Hank Jones Saturdays of Thunder

Hank Jones

Saturdays of Thunder

An album cover with a skull, blood streaks and three fingers makes the viewer think of death, violence, periods and the very impolite action of pointing. In the hardcore scene this is all very cliché, although the fingers are a territory not plundered yet. Instead of surprising the viewer, now the listener, Saturdays of Thunder is filled with very mundane hardcore.

Imagine if The Suicide File lacked energy and well thought out lyrics. That's essentially Hank Jones. I see Hank Jones at the party sporting a wild/funny T-shirt who, when approached, has nothing to say. But out of nowhere Hank Jones will make a fart joke that everyone will cherish at a later time. Oh, Hank Jones! The style of hardcore that Hank Jones plays, as the press release points out, isn't very prevalent. It's cool they are trying to do their own thing, but for now, it isn't working. It sounds like a hardcore band trying to play rock music in a bar. Mike Tortis' vocals for the most part sound like a dull version of Aaron Bedard from Bane. For some reason in the song "Failed Masterpiece," the second to last track, Torti sounds much more intense. I don't know why the vocals sound different on this track, odd.

The lyrics cover topics such as not bullying newcomers and friendships lost. Nothing you won't find in another hardcore album. Other bands can pull off doing cliché topics with their lyrics because of the way they write about them. Hank Jones isn't able to do this, with lyrics that are kind of just there. "Is it such a hard thing to do in our lives to not cast down the people that we dislike, there's a bunch of hypocrisy in this scene where people praise this false equality," from the song "Teddy Roosevelt" reads more like lecture than lyrics. The lyrics as a whole remind me of that excerpt. They are just kind of there.

It's always fun when bands throw little parts into songs to surprise and keep the listener on their toes. For instance, in "Get Pissed" a few seconds of ska make a brief appearance. It would be nice if more songs on Saturday of Thunder did this. Instead we get thirteen predictable songs. The final song on the album, "Pizza Party!" is fun. It's fast. The lyrics consist of the word "pizza" fourteen times and ends with the word "cowabunga." I'm not sure what to make of these two lines though, "And when the clock strikes ten our guests will have to leave/I hope they had a blast and they didn't catch a disease." Wild? Random?? Who knows, LOL. No other song on Saturdays of Thunder is like "Pizza Party!" According to the press release, "Hilarious video for album track 'Pizza Party!' already receiving airplay." It would make sense to draw people in with a song that sounds nothing like the rest. A whole lot of sense.

Twenty something years after its inception, it would seem pretty hard to fuck up writing hardcore music. Somehow Hank Jones does this with Saturday of Thunder. On a positive note, their slower rocking style is a million times better than the formulaic-hyper-breakdown style of hardcore. But then again, what isn't?

5.6 / 10Zed
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5.6 / 10

5.6 / 10

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