Coney Hatch – Four

84 / 100

‘Four’ is not quite the comeback I was hoping for from Coney Hatch, it disappointed me in the same way that 2007’s Loverboy did.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: Coney Hatch
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2013
SPONSOR: Frontiers Music Portal

LINEUP: Carl Dixon – vocals, guitar * Steve Shelski – guitars * Andy Curran – vocals, bass * Dave Ketchum – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Blown Away * 02 Boys Club * 03 Down & Dirty * 04 Do It Again * 05 Connected * 06 Revive * 07 We Want More * 08 The Devil U Know * 09 Marseilles * 10 Keep Driving * 11 Holding On

RATING: 75/100



Without doubt I’ve been spoiled by the recent Houston ‘II’ album. However, it would’ve been a hard ask to expect the same from comeback Canadians Coney Hatch, and their reunion CD for Frontiers called ‘Four’. It’s true the Italian label has done some incredibly good things with their signings of late, notwithstanding the justified opinions about how they put their projects together.

Not that Coney Hatch can be accused of being a ‘project’ themselves’, as they shoulda coulda woulda been huge in another era, but that time has passed. The material on ‘Four’ is a mixture of modern, fresh and tough. Not exactly terms used to describe the band in previous years.

That would be unfair, considering the quartet of Dixon, Shelski, Curran and Ketchum were hugely popular back in the 80’s, but ‘Four’ is not the 1982 self titled album nor the 1985 ‘Friction’ album revisited. Far from it. So with that comparison cleared up for everyone, let’s take a listen.

The Songs

Coney Hatch have diverted to a solid and gritty sound, which obviously works for them in 2013. Steve Shelski stated in their bio that they wanted to let the creativity flow, which they’ve obviously done. The coarseness of the material haven’t had the rough edges chipped off. They’ve been left on for maximum impact. Some will like it, others will have their heckles raised.

The melodies use vocals to widen the sound. No keyboards have been used on this album, so as you can expect, this has the taste and feel of ‘organic’ applied to it. ‘Blown Away’ is the band’s first single, from there you’ll get an idea as to which direction they’re heading. Refer the video below. ‘Down And Dirty’ is as the title suggests. A good medium to fast paced party rocker.

‘Do It Again’ uses the modern rock template to squeeze out its contents. For mine, ‘Connected’ is the best track onboard, the style applied can be traced back to their 80’s origins, though the chorus is a bit boof-head to be honest. ‘Revive’ is a milder effort, and one that is quite appealing too.

‘We Want More’ turns the dial up a few notches, a bit rough around the edges. This seems to be the norm for those tracks that Andy Curran sings on. I remember his band Drugplan, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. I think I prefer Dixon’s vocals more (this has been an ongoing Hatch debate for decades, lol!).

And just as I say that, Curran delivers the ace in the hole with a cover of The Angels classic ‘Marseilles’, a fun romp, which sounds like an AC/DC song in disguise, and also an album highlight. The velocity is retained on ‘Keep Driving’, with the acoustic ballad ‘Holding On’ bringing the 2013 edition of Coney Hatch to a close.

In Summary

‘Four’ is not quite the comeback I was hoping for from Coney Hatch, it disappointed me in the same way that 2007’s Loverboy did. Still, this quartet have been out of action for far too long, and it’s good to see them back. Gosh, it was only a few years ago I was writing about Carl Dixon’s very bad car crash in rural Victoria Australia in which he nearly lost his life. Thank god for small mercies, and thank god Coney Hatch are back.


Blown Away

Coney Hatch - Blown Away (Official Video 2013 / Brand new album)

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