NB: This is a really old piece, from 1999. It was originally written for Rolling Stone (Australia) but never got published. I found it when I was going through some old papers at home – and thought I may as well give it one.
It’s a Thursday night at the University of New South Wales Roundhouse, and the new, improved and reformed Hard-Ons are rampaging through Suck & Swallow. As the song descends into a maelstrom of noise, Peter Black is making like Nigel, Spinal Tap’s spandex-clad guitar hero. After a final squeal of feedback, there’s a pause. “As you get older,” Blackie tells us, “you become even more of a wanker.”
The Hard-Ons began their meteoric rise (OK, OK – that’s the first and last bad pun of this story) in 1982, as teenagers growing up in Sydney’s western suburbs. Blackie, bassist Ray Ahn and singer/drummer Keish de Silva went on to become one of Australia’s greatest ever singles bands, and probably punk’s unlikeliest success story.
Between 1985 and 1993, the Hard-Ons topped the Australian independent charts with an incredible 17 consecutive releases and made significant inroads overseas with a succession of high-energy, ultra-melodic gems. Career sales figures are conservatively estimated at around the 250,000 mark, although Blackie will tell you that “a quarter of a million sounds better”.… Read more..