393. Hilltop Hoods – “The Hard Road”

A peril for suddenly successful acts is that they rush out a follow-up that lacks the power and pullof their breakout release.

The Hilltop Hoods didn’t fall for this trap, perhaps because of their veteran status by the time they won us over.

This album keeps up the pace, with a heap of very solid tracks. The themes often don’t venture far from their usual: Hip-hop as the big joy in a strife and struggled-filled life; the potency of these dudes’ rhyming versus the rest; and the joys of alcohol consumption:

But there is welcome attempts to stretch the boundaries. Stopping All Stations works as a layered, multi- narrative short-story on par with Michael Franti’s best efforts like Hole in the Bucket.The track is a harrowing tale of the failings of rail privatisation…

An Audience with the Devil is an amusing attempt to probe the nature of good and evil.

Musically, the sampling is still strong (although I probably don’t need any more flute riffs), with perhaps more musicality than previous releases.

All in all, this is a long player I still enjoying diving into.

File under: Aren’t all roads hard?

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