PETER BLACK (Australian, vocalist legends The Hard-ons)
“CLEARLY YOU DIDN’T LIKE THE SHOW”
The world-renown rampaging lead-guitarist, vocalist and song-writer from Australian underground legends The Hard-ons introduces album number four. A staggering achievement especially considering the breakneck speed with which Peter Black has spawned his opuses.
An electric and mythical performer whose sweaty no holds-barred bare-chested pillage through any live set always left any audience stunned goes over the intimate edge: weaving in and out of often cryptic stories, haunting, intensely personal signatures of grand proportions, hand-crafted by a shirtless taxi driver (ahem, Phillip Glass drove cabs too), all the while holding music industry orthodoxies in contempt, AND without a cumbersome drummer nor bass player in proximity.
Since the initial purge of solo ideas that was debut album “Break Bread With the Mono-Brows”, the improvement in Peter Black’s vocal ability has been exemplary. Furthermore, a deliberately measured and minimalist approach instrumentally goes to highlight the brilliant song-craft, which has always been in evidence with Peter Black’s electric amplified combos. On “Clearly You Didn’t Like The Show” it is his song writing that has been hoisted upon a well-deserved and well-achieved pedestal. A great song is a great song, peel away the layers and see.
Witness: Live favourite “Just For A Second”. A power-pop tune with trademark Peter Black insistence and hook, “Just For A Second”, with meaty acoustic barre chords backing a superb melody that, dare one say it, could have been written for the Hard-ons. Then again, it could have been written for Alex Chilton. A great song is a great song.
An ingredient in Hard-ons’ recorded output that is not really detectable is pathos. On “Clearly You Didn’t Like The Show” welcome pathos pervades the album delightfully. Witness: “History Jack”, a track about his father. Achingly personal and reflective, it is a gossamer delicate ode to a part of Peter Black’s life that is not on public display. Unexpected perhaps, but unsurprising; left-hand turns have been the order of the day since Peter Black began his long career as a composer.
“Clearly You Didn’t like The Show” is stockpiled with such fine moments. Clearly a backward step artistically is out of the question for Peter Black. Clearly, Peter Black has well and truly arrived as a composer and a solo performer.
The Condell Park Daily
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