Reviews Hard Girls Floating Now

Hard Girls

Floating Now

Hard Girls are a complex band – or maybe they’re not. They sing about hard life choices, serious moments, and buying candy and cigarettes. A post-punk influence and precise arrangement style seamlessly blend into a more traditional pop structure. At its simplest definition they’re a punk band, but that doesn’t feel like it hits at the fact that both vocalists actually sing and the songs are don’t feature a sing-along chorus regardless of utilizing concise and direct formulas.

Floating Now is their latest full-length. In searching for descriptive genre terms, post-punk is the most applicable but it doesn’t quite hit the mark either. The songs progress and wrap up neatly in three to four minutes with an emotional bent instead of the angular guitars that suit much of that style. There are staccato guitar-picking moments, like in “Camera,” but it’s followed by Robert Pollard-esque (Guided By Voices) Ooo-ooo smooth and melodic vocals. “Echolocation” is like the softer songs in Fugazi’s catalogue but instead it’s delivered in a lush and underspoken vocal tone rather than their coarse shouts. As a whole, consider the mathy guitars of post-punk’s greatest but with a soft-spoken and heartfelt ’90s college rock vibe.

After considering those two musical styles, throw that reference in the trashcan when it comes to lyrical analysis. The songs here are half in-joke, half calls for awakening about a dark and twisted world. It’s a sardonic world view that’s alternately horrified and bemused at human frailty and evil. While it hits at some heavy subject matter, it’s never dramatic or heavy-handed, and the jokes are delivered even keel as Easter eggs for the closer listeners to discover within the songs that feature grim titles like “Halfway to the Hearse” or “Puddle of Blood.”

“Herd” is one of the album’s biggest standouts, highlighting Hard Girls’ ability to throw in a deconstruction breakdown that conveys emotion without a drama overload. It’s emotional and with fluctuating tones, but it never gets too aggressively where the it throws the listener into an aural blender.

Hard Girls deliver pleasing post-punk on first listen, but it keeps growing on each listen, as more phrases jump out and more tonal shifts subtly change the meaning each time it plays through.

8.5 / 10Loren
Tor Johnson Records
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8.5 / 10

8.5 / 10

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