Music » Music News

The Hard Lessons



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 [email protected].

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 [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.