I’ve listened to this disc three times through now, and I can’t figure out if these guys are being serious or if Strictly Hardcore is just some type of joke album. The music falls somewhere between ska, hardcore, and bar room “rah rah” punk, the kind where drunken thirty-something ex-punks talk about the good ol’ days. After much consideration, I’ve decided that these guys take seriously what they are doing and therefore, have created an absolutely terrible record of punk rock clichés piled one on top of another.
The vocalist, by far, takes the cake as the worst aspect of this band. He has a snotty, snarled voice, similar to late ’70s-early ’80s gutter punk bands’ signers. He swims the waters between the worst parts of Johnny Rotten and HR from Bad Brains, to make one of the most irritating noises ever audible. The band itself isn’t terrible, but the music they play is really unoriginal and uninspired, and completely predictable. The guitars are just about the only star on this album, coming through in shimmering power and glory. The overall production value isn’t too bad, either, with all instruments sounding rather crisp and nicely recorded.
Again, this could be a joke record, and I could have been had with Strictly Hardcore; it’s so pointless and mundane that I can’t imagine these guys making such a record while sober. By the way, check out these song titles: “Black Elvis,” “AC/ DC,” “Mutha Fukka,” “Who Was the Killa?” and so on. I haven’t heard a record this awful for quite a long time; I’ve lost some respect for the folks at Thick Records over this turd.