Canada Calling: Toronto punk vet S. Earl Hardy goes rootsy on new album Back In Del Rio
One year after returning from an extended music biz sabbatical — the details of which must never be disclosed — Toronto punk legend S Earl Hardy has followed up his raging opus Love Kills Slow with another thick slab of garage punk entitled Back In Del Rio.
Mutating from sheer raw power to sweat-stained grooves, the new nine-song collection finds Hardy getting back in touch with rock and roll’s deep southern roots, exemplified by the title track, which approximates what the Rolling Stones may have sounded like if they’d replaced Bill Wyman with Lemmy.
But Hardy has his own crack rhythm section, Guns For Hire, consisting of bassist (and also lead guitarist) John Dinsmore and drummer Mark Kesper, both of whom pull double duty with NQ Arbuckle. Dinsmore is likewise responsible for Back In Del Rio‘s scorched earth production, laid down at his Toronto studio, Lincoln County Social Club.
As Hardy previously demonstrated on Love Kills Slow, his take-no-prisoners approach to songwriting has only intensified since his days as a member of first generation Toronto punks Stark Naked & The Fleshtones, known for snotty teen anthems like “I Wanna Marry Your Mother” and “Surfin’ Simcoe Style.” Now, with songs like “She’s My New York” and “Lucky As Sin,” Hardy’s subject matter probes society’s dark underbelly with the unflinching eye of a master film noir director.
Back In Del Rio is as pure as rock and roll gets.