Detroit rock trio The Hard Lessons have donned a lot of hats in their 10-year run, debuting with a charged post-garage soul and swagger, to an accelerated, punkier brand of pop. They’ve gone completely clean and catchy with cute indie-pop earworms and they’ve gone more psychedelic with heavily produced records. This one’s as close to the sound they had at their “start.” Its rock n’ roll with a lot of heart and soul, but brisker than before. Pop music can have a naïve whimsy with its playful melodies, and that holds true here with the HLs title-track single, but the vocals bare a more intriguing bite this time, waxing on that whole being true-to-ones-self maxim, sounding warier and wiser than before, thus liberated enough to just go back and embrace what always worked before .
It’s telling that stand-out ballad “Gramercy Riff” samples sneering dialogue from cult flick “The Warriors,” since this is a forceful, grimacing kind of rock record, sounding ready for a fight. They’ve tried this and that, but now it’s time to plug in and get it done; employing hammers they’d not gripped since their Wise Up EP. Finish it!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.