The Hard Lessons

Hard Lessons

by Alan Brown

22 May 2007


Sometimes it pays to acknowledge your heroes.  With Hard Lessons, the follow-up to last year’s excellent five-track EP Wise Up!, the trio from Lansing, Michigan, have recorded three soulful garage gems by delving into the back catalogue of Neil Young. A raucous, bluesy version of “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” (which also appears on the limited edition Headed For the Ditch: A Michigan Tribute to Neil Young compiled by Motor City’s Casionauts John Krohn) opens this self-released CD complete with a fat reggae bass line that is underscored by short bursts of ‘60s-style organ and topped by Augie “Gin” Visocchi and Korin “Ko Ko Louise” Cox trading deep-down vocal duties. The vocal trade-off continues on a slow groove, extended “Lansing Rock City Version” of the same song, however, this time the intense rifling drums of Christophe Zajac-Denek, otherwise known as “the Anvil”, are taken up a notch and provide ear-pounding accompaniment to Visocchi’s tortured vocals and Ko Ko Louise’s soulful stylings.  A haunting, stripped-down offering of “Harvest Moon”, featuring Detroit band the Sights’ frontman Eddie Baranek, brings things to a close with only acoustic guitar and tentative backing vocals to keep Ko Ko Louise’s sultry voice company.  A thin but tasty slice of garage nirvana.

Hard Lessons


//Mixed media

Marina and the Diamonds Wrap Up U.S. Tour at Terminal 5 (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Marina's star shines bright and her iridescent pop shines brighter. Froot is her most solid album yet. Her tour continues into the new year throughout Europe.

READ the article