DISTRICT - Don't Mess With The Hard Punx

District - Don't Mess With The Hard Punx

13 songs
32:57 minutes
***** ****
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The cover artwork is more then enough to get every human being with more than three brain cells running for cover, expecting an onslaught of the most stupid possible punk rock. And while these seasoned punks (their first single was released in 1996) from Germany may have had a very unlucky hand when it comes to the cover photograph, the 14 songs on their new album, satirically titled Don't Mess With The Hard Punx, are among the best I have heard from Germany in a very, very long time. Singer Marc De Burgh (and if Chris is his dad, then I want to date his sister) doesn't sound German at all, while also the rest of the band not only tries but manages to come across as British as possible. There is probably not one original note on the album, but again they don't sound clichéd or boring. While their label wants to see them between the Buzzcocks and the Undertones, two of the best 70s punk bands, I would even go further and add a dimension you normally only find these days in rock musicals, with strong reminiscences of Rock Horror Picture Show and Hedwig And The Angry Inch. OK, District are no cross-dressers or transsexuals, but they have that theatrical element in their music. They are certainly not the hard punx they try to be on the cover, but a funny and very talented bunch of musicians who show me again and again why I started to love punk rock so much in the first place, and that's why I am thankful for this great album. If you want to buy only one old school punk rock album this year, you better consider it being this one.

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