When you visit the website hardtohitmusic.com, one of the first things you’ll see is a statement that reads as follows: “because pop punk deserves breakdowns”. Not only does this message describe the band’s sound perfectly, it also indicates that the band members know exactly what they are about musically and they make no concessions about it.
On their latest release titled Better Than I’ve Been, San Diego based Hard to Hit deliver five songs that are most certainly worth your attention if you are a fan of pop punk. Borrowing elements from the pop punk flood of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, Hard to Hit puts their own spin on the genre. Applying many of the typical tempos one would expect, the band shows heavy leanings toward half-time grooves. In fact, rather than save a head-bobbin’ breakdown for a short bridge or brief transition, HTH are more likely to grind out entire verses in this manner.
Listeners can expect to hear a lot of metal influenced guitar riffing with well defined chunky palm mutes and perfectly synced double kick drum. This stylistic approach is almost always accompanied with lead vocals that oscillate back n forth between indecipherable screaming and an obligatory/trite melodic chorus. While I don’t necessarily have a beef with this formula in all instances, I’m happy to report that it doesn’t matter because Hard to Hit doesn’t go in that direction. Instead, they maintain well articulated, melodic vocals with non-stop flow and creative cadences.
All five tracks on Better Than I’ve Been are executed with extreme precision and are chock full of technical nuance that should easily capture the interest of other musicians. Likewise, the pop melodies and relatable lyricism keep the overall sound sensible, and thus, attractive to the casual listener as well. If you haven’t gathered, I like this release. …I like it a whole heap (insert hand claps and cheers!). Fans of New Found Glory, This Legend, Blink 182, Assuming we Survive, Knucklepuck etc… It’s highly likely that you will appreciate Hard to Hit… perhaps even more than some of the aforementioned!
4 out of 5 SDP Skullz
Reviewed by Todd Dulawan