Hard Girls – Floating Now

Asian Man Records – Release Date: 10/06/17

San Jose’s Hard Girls recently released their latest album on Asian Man Records, called Floating Now. Having spent a majority of the last several years touring with the likes of Say Anything, Modern Baseball and AJJ, it’s apparent that the time on the road has assisted in Hard Girls advancing their sound. With influences ranging from post-punk to ‘90s alternative, Floating Now is a distinctive record and one that’s further reinforced by the versatile production of Jack Shirley, (Joyce Manor, Jeff Rosenstock). Album opener “Field ‘99” uses a substantial amount of fuzz and a marching rhythm to build intensity before segueing to “Puddle of Blood,” arguably the record’s catchiest track. Sounding as though Weezer was to play a beer-soaked basement party with significantly more brawn and without all the hang-ups, “Puddle…” is a straightforward banger that improves with every listen. “Guadalupe on the Banks of the Styx” is one of the most detailed and layered songs that Hard Girls has ever written, with lyrics that address the ongoing class-divide in their hometown. It’s perhaps the best example of the band’s progression and hopefully an indication of where their music is headed in the future. “Dizzy Wizard” is a speedy, shimmering indie rock song that underscores the guitar prowess of frontman Mike Huguenor, while album closer “Running” highlights the unpredictable yet surefooted rhythm section of singer/bassist Morgan Herrell and drummer Max Feshbach. It’s really an ideal ending, complete with contemplative lyrics, unique vocal harmonies and boundless energy. Floating Now is unquestionably Hard Girls’ finest effort to date, combining first-rate songwriting with outstanding performances. It would likely appeal to any fan of melodic rock, as well as those in search of genre-defying music.