"Stars of CCTV"

(Necessary/Atlantic Records 2006)Hard-Fi - Stars of CCTV

Flying high on the runaway success of their single "Cash Machine," Hard-Fi have raised their stock and made "Stars Of CCTV" an album many are curious about. Led by the distinct vocals of Richard Archer, Hard-Fi keep their sense of humor on hand at all times as they never seem to take themselves too seriously.

Hard-Fi want to make their mark and grab your attention from the very beginning. Opening track "Cash Machine" is unforgettable with its unassuming beat while with the speeding rhythms of "Middle Eastern Holiday," Hard-Fi remind of The Clash. "Stars Of CCTV" pops and jumps with the quick and fluid "Gotta Reason" before focusing all their efforts on to the melodically pleasing sounds of "Hard To Beat." Hard-Fi retains their style but take a surprisingly softer detour with the poignant piano ballad "Move On Now." For "Feltham Is Singing Out," the band holds nothing back as the song soars over the top with intense, rumbling instrumentation before ending the album on the Savage Garden-esque ballad, complete with falsetto vocals, "Stars Of CCTV."

The band remain true to themselves and their style as they put their stamp on indie rock, offering the tiniest hints of punk and electronic. But "Stars Of CCTV" comes across as uneven. The quartet seem to run from one end of the musical spectrum to the other, kicking it all off with some credible street rock before attempting to pull it all together with a soft pop rock ballad. Hard-Fi certainly have their moments, but on "Stars Of CCTV," they are fleeting.


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