Put Max and Morgan of Pteradon and Mike of Shinobu in a three-piece post-punk band and you get San Jose, California's Hard Girls. On June 24th, 2014, Hard Girls' latest batch of indie rock/post-punk gems - fourteen of them, to be specific - are scheduled to be released by Asian Man Records. Titled A Thousand Surfaces, the material on this album holds similarities to bands like Built to Spill and Guided by Voices together with Joyce Manor and Braid. When it comes to Mike Huguenor's vocals, think Ben Barnett of Kind of Like Spitting meets Travis Shettel of Piebald meets Lou Barlow of Sebadoh...sort of. Despite the comparisons which can be drawn to Hard Girls' sound, it is one that can easily stand tall on its own, and then some.
In a steadily growing indie rock and post-punk scene, one comes across more than one's fair share of bands which simply borrow elements from the old greats and attempt to slip into the tattered shoes they left behind, rarely fitting into them properly. This is not the case with Hard Girls, which is in full evidence on A Thousand Surfaces. In other words, it is nice to find such a worthwhile band that can handle the depth of current of today's overflowing scene.
Every song on A Thousand Surfaces is worthy of repeated listens. If I were to pick a handful of standouts, however, they would be the opener "The Quark," "996 Tears," "Plan," "On & On," 'Thenar Space," "Deep Gulch," and "Eddie Vedder vs. Jack the Ripper." But, as I mentioned above, the entire album is pretty damn good.
Pre-orders for the album shipped on June 19th, so it should be available for purchase any day now from Asian Man Records. And this July will see Hard Girls on the road touring with Andrew Jackson Jihad and Dogbreth.
If you like Hard Girls, check out the members' other bands - Pteradon and Shinobu. These three are also in Classics of Love with Jesse Michaels (Operation Ivy, Common Rider, Big Rig), whose 2012 debut full-length on Asian Man isn't to be missed either.