Hard Charger - Hard Charger (Cover Artwork)

Hard Charger

Hard Charger (2007)


Hard Charger is a band that lives by a very basic songwriting formula that not enough self-proclaimed "metallic hardcore" bands are putting into good use: start with a riff + riff + riff + riff + end with a riff = 1.5 minute song.

They're also a small-town band that suffers from having very little local support in their hometown of Fredericton, New Brunswick, where "mosh parts" metalcore reigns supreme in the scene. However, the band is constantly on tour all over Ontario and especially Quebec, filling up bars and clubs with their ultrafast take on D-beat hardcore à la Tragedy and His Hero Is Gone, and having shared the stage with bands UK Subs and Inepsy.

What sets Hard Charger apart from those bands, and probably why they cannot find a place in their own punk show community, is their taste for speedy, fist-pumpin', southern-flavored punk, much like Zeke and R.E.O. Speedealer. Songs "Line Wars" and "Hard Charger Death Stomp" sound heavily influenced, but are coupled, instead, with a billowing roar care of vocalist and friendly giant, Tery Terror.

They also share the attitude and subject matter. The tracks "Thunder Toke," "Beer Bong" and "Overdose Boogie" are a little too obvious in their immaturity, but the music behind the words is just cause for a sloppy, drunken mosh pit (if you're into that). Hard Charger's self-titled release is 14 tracks long, running just under 18 minutes in length, refusing to slow down for a single second. Even though it holds too many songs to qualify as an EP, the production value runs just under demo quality, which ultimately hides the true power behind Tery's heavy guitar tone, that can be truly admired when seen first-hand.

However, I do agree that Hard Charger's brand of "crust 'n' roll" ain't for everybody. In a time where every heavy band coming out of the woodwork sounds the same, it's refreshing to see a band of three dudes tour successfully playing a genre that has long been forgotten by today's underground music scene. But despite that, leather jackets, spikes and back patches have never been my cup of tea.

Hard Charger's first release is impressive in its tightness, speed and agility, but can be appreciated much more when seen live. But if you're into big riffs and the sound of drum kits being destroyed (literally!), you've found your band.