As Detroit's own The Hard Lessons celebrate ten years as a band, what better way to close out 2013 and bring in 2014 than with a new album? Augie and Korin Visocchi, yes they're husband and wife, have enlisted the help of a new drummer in Steve Warstler and delivered this hard and fast, eight song punch to your gut.
Start What You Finished is the first new Hard Lessons album since 2009's Arms Forest, a record that saw the band explore a bit of a poppier, experimental side than those used to their loud, energetic live sets may have been expecting. I was a fan of that album but can't lie, it is nice to hear The Hard Lessons returning to a stripped down rock outfit again. I've seen them live countless times around the area the last few years, a number of these songs have been in their setlist during this time and they translate well in their studio versions.
"Sit & Argue" has been a live favorite of mine, that guitar riff grabs you and won't let go, and it kicks things off followed by their cover of Iggy Pop's "I'm Bored". In fact, this album is loaded in Augie Visocchi's riffs, look no further than the bluesy "Gramercy Riff", another favorite and a showcase for that soulful voice of 'Miss Koko Louise' herself. Korin also handles the lead on the slow burning "Mamma's Got A Brand New Bag". Another song recognizable to local fans closes out the album. "My Kind", a song written in 2011 about the Visocchi's then newborn son, has been another staple in their live shows the last couple years. It ends things on a quieter, acoustic note, the perfect cool down after an album of good, old fashioned rock and roll.
Favorite tracks: "Sit & Argue", "Gramercy Riff", "Mamma's Got A Brand New Bag", "I'm Bored"
Start What You Finished is officially released January 15, 2014 via Gangplank Records.