“Hot Wired Beat”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Hard Action is back!  These Finns caught lightning in a bottle on their last LP “Sinister Vibes”, which was hard charging buzzsaw rock n’ roll at its most ferocious. It was hard rock played with the intensity of thrash metal. Now we have “Hot Wired Beat”. Were they able to keep that red hot flow going?

The answer is: no. This is not a replay of “Sinister Vibes”. Don’t worry, the band didn’t wimp out, but this is significantly rockier and not as breakneck fast as the last record. Tunes like “Free Fall” and “Hostile Street” deliver the furious jolt that “Sinister Vibes” did, but other tunes are rootsier and not as frantic. There’s a feeling of bands like the Rolling Stones and even Rockpile, with blues and even jangly pop getting into the action. “The Losing Side” and “Knocked Down, Dragged Out” show this more measured approach, but Hard Action’s stripped down style is still appealing in this day of digital production overkill. On the song “May”, the jangle pop sensibilities go too far for me. This is nothing like the Hard Action I know and love from before.

If you’re into blazing hot “action rock” only, “Hot Wired Beat” may disappoint, but those who love rootsy hard rock with a strong touch of the classic will find this worth investigating.