A band nearly two years removed from their debut EP suffering a major lineup change without anything to immediately follow it up would usually spell doom and gloom, but San Diego rockers Hard To Hit are back against all odds with their sophomore release Better Than I’ve Been.
Taking major influence from the likes of Four Year Strong and City Lights, Hard To Hit carve their own unique brand of harder pop-punk that, while eliciting similar emotions, doesn’t rely on screaming to portray their angst and raw energy. This aspect, along with vocalist Jason Kubo’s distinct voice and guitar powehouse duo Peter Duff & Matt Ainsworth’s infectiously catchy guitar lines are what instantly drew me to this release. Tracks like Don’t Be The Penguin and Lunchbox Special waste no time in getting to their anthemic choruses, while Straight On Til Morning brings out the more classic elements of the genre’s sound. The real standout moment of this EP by far however would have to be Alone In My Principles, a fun and bouncy track that manages to be angry without coming across as petty. If you only listen to one track off of this release, I highly suggest it be this one.
As far as the production is concerned, this EP is a massive step up from Hard To Hit‘s self-titled debut. The band graduated to Grey Brick Recording Studio (also based out of San Diego) and it shows. In an era where most bands strive to sound the same, this band isn’t afraid to push the rhythm section forward in the mix, stop singing, and let the music breathe.
From simplistic yet catchy lyrics to master-level performances from every member of the band, Better Than I’ve Been is everything you could hope for in a modern heavy pop-punk release.
You can buy Better Than I’ve Been on iTunes and Amazon as well as listen on all major streaming platforms today.
Last modified: December 11, 2017