Hard-On’s – Busted / Suck N Swallow – 20 Singles.

The Hard On’s are the best live band I have ever seen. Scroll back if you feel like it and check out the review from The Fulham Greyhound in the gig list. There will never be a better gig than that. A gig of serious underground legend.

The band achieved practically no fame. I guess the name doesn’t help – but they are one of the most under rated bands ever. Taking the best parts of the Ramones, Kiss, Motorhead, The Stooges and fusing together a frankly ridiculously good sound that the band make their own.

With hardcore and britcore achieving success of sorts in the late 80’s this band appeared out of nowhere. When they did it was a sound that caused dance floors / mosh pits to explode in chaotic joy.

Levels of energy at a Hard-On’s gig is something i have never seen since. Venues would literally blow apart. The band also played in the very small room at Edwards No.8 in Birmingham and used just practice amps. Serioulsy, the amps were bedroom guitar amps. The venue still erupted when they took to the stage. People were actually jumping from the bar and reaching the stage.

Busted is a typical Hard-On’s track. Lively, poppy, but electric at the same time. The reason this single makes my 20 Singles section is the double A side , Suck N Swallow is probably the bands best ever piece of music.

Almost impossible to capture how good the band are live on vinyl, Suck N Swallow comes the closest you will get to how good they are live.

The guitar break that begins about 2:20 in is like no other. It’s like Jimi Hendrix has been reborn and has thrown out his poncho to be in a punk band. Wah guitar and punk should not mix in theory – but here it is superb.

When the band played this live you knew you needed to track it down on record as soon as possible. Frank’s Wild Records in Birmingham was the only place I could find it. One of the best singles i’ve ever owned…


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