The Hard Lessons

by

comment

No offense to the Funk Brothers, but trundling out Joan Osborne to wail through “Heatwave” for the Sunday evening panini crowd just doesn’t seem that soulful anymore. Now, don’t go getting shitty about the comparison. No one’s saying Gasoline is on par with history’s masters. But hear this: The Hard Lessons’ debut LP pricks skin like you just bit on a plug. After a brief intro, “Feel Alright” rips a hole in the plaster, its coed vocals, screaming organ and the Anvil’s drums making you feel all funny inside. This is soul by sheer force of will. Ko Ko Louise wags a finger for “Other Girl”; “Well listen up mister,” she begins, and the song’s shimmy leaves room for her brassy tell-offs. As raucous as they love to be (and “Feedback Loop” and “I Can’t Stand It” are certainly that), it’s nice when the Hard Lessons ease back on the half-unplugged “All Over This Town,” and give “How It Is With Me” the right blend of wit and ’60s rock zing. (It puts “Hang on Sloopy” in your head.) Anvil, Ko Ko, Gin – they’re just three kids. But they’ll make your lazy Sunday feel like the heat of Saturday night. Just add Gasoline.

 

Record release show is Saturday, May 28, at the Magic Bag (22920 Woodward, Ferndale; 248-544-3030), with Nice Device, the Vamps and the Dead Bodies.

Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.