By Jason Wellwood
Fredericton, New Brunswick’s Hard Charger like to meld their metal and punk in a crusty rock n’ roll sound that leaves you feeling a little dirty all over. The songs on This Machine Is Driving give you visions of bearded fellas in dirty denim vests, greasy, matted hair flying as they tromp around the stage, beer cups spilling, jeans bearing various stains that you’d rather not think too much about, blue tattoos on knuckles and necks alike…and probably some missing teeth. Of course, I think the reality is skinny, clean shaven, close shorn punk rock kids, but the music creates some serious dirty, crust rock images.
Admittedly, the band has been through town a few times and I’ve managed to miss them every time. So I can’t confirm either vision but, after hearing This Machine Is Driving, I won’t be missing Hard Charger live again! From the moody intro to “This Pack Will Roam” right through to the closing notes of “Still Fucking Pissed”, Hard Charger play like they are angry at the world, and particularly at you. As dirty and sweaty as the album leaves you feeling, it also makes you want to dance a little bit. The songs here are short, the majority of them falling around the one minute mark but, there is a groovy sense of rhythm underneath the jagged riffing and rapid fire solos.
At just under half an hour, This Machine Is Driving is almost not enough but at the same time it’s the perfect length. It makes you want to leave it on repeat, though continued listening may force you in to the shower several times a day.