26 Nov 2015

Hard Action - Sinister Vibes [Full length] (2015, Svart Records)

Leather-rocking biker music with everything it entails
Everything about this band screams "we're one of those seventies hard n' heavy clones from Sweden that land somewhere in the midst of a circlejerk consisting of early Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy and Girlschool". The promo shots feature sunglasses, denim, beards and a bandana. The cover presents wrecked guitar equipment and a stylish seventies design. Songtitles like Watch Me Burn, Cut to the Bone and Dead Dogs really do the trick. It's a sure thing, right? Well, no, not really.

These Finnish bad boys - a veritable super group to say the least, consisting of fine musicians from Speedtrap, Forced Kill and other prominent Finnish bands - may be sporting the mandatory seventies hard rockin' biker dresscode, but these motorcycles carry them to far punkier territories. When they're the punkiest they sound like a head-on collision between a flashier Ramones and Danzig-era Misfits on speed. When they're the heaviest, Airbourne and a slew of other hard rock bands come to mind.

"It's tough to compare Hard Action to any one band or scene because they borrow so much."

There's really no defining moment on Sinister Vibes, the band's debut album. With no real highs or lows to set the bar, the tracks come off as being nothing but a case of explosive nostalgiarrhea. It's tough to compare Hard Action to any one band or scene because they borrow so much. To put it bluntly, they sound like every aviator shade-wearing biker cop on Earth had an unlubricated orgy on top of a giant heap of Gibson guitars and Marshall stacks.

It's not that Sinister Vibes is a boring mess, it's just that this particular style has been done better by other bands, and it seems mostly like a group of already established musicians wanting to cash in on the recent resurgence of popularity in the genre. It's entertaining enough, and it's certainly listenable with its hookless chords and flashy shredding, but ultimately nothing really stands out. Hard Action is in many ways to hard rock what Speedtrap is to speed metal: A crash course in all the tropes and an entirely by-the-numbers experience going top speed through a wall of nostalgia. 6/10 guitars.

1. Dead Dogs
2. Chosen Few
3. Cut to the Bone
4. Night Moves
5. Deadweight (Cut Me Loose)
6. Watch Me Burn
7. Hey You
8. Sinister Vibes
9. Gun Point
10. No Lesson Learned

HARD ACTION on Facebook
HARD ACTION on Bandcamp
SVART RECORDS official site

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