In 1992 the unhinged yet brilliant Australian underground rock and roll heroes entered an unprecedented and bewildering post-Nirvana Nevermind era blissfully unaware of changing expectations of their record labels, their fans, and the general public at large.
Left to their own devices, this underdressed and somewhat uncouth rabble, still only in their mid twenties after already a decade of rocking their tits off, produced indie chart hit after indie chart hit in their utterly unique and aurally violent fashion, only to be told that their existence was no longer confined to the world of parallel universe-like underground scene. That is, the The Hard-Ons, having leased out to the behemoth Festival Records for a mainstream distribution deal at the stroke of Alternative rock's "break through", were no longer a purely invisible yet phenomenally successful concern. All of a sudden, The Hard-Ons became music industry foot soldiers just like everyone else.
All these facts did not occur to the three men in The Hard-Ons. The Hard-Ons as always, followed their gut instinct and musical subconscious, completely oblivious to current fads, and having immersed themselves with psychedelia, post-punk and avant-garde to varying degrees, purged their final album Too Far Gone before their break-up at the end of 1993.
Quite simply, Too Far Gone is the hell-spawn of an unorthodox and often misunderstood band going down swinging. Too Far Gone is the glorious warts-and-all end result of these magnificent bastards waving their privates in the face of the oncoming alternate-rock apocalypse, an apocalypse in which every flannel shirt wearing untalented gaggle ended up getting put on a post-Nirvana pedestal, armed with Russian made fuzz pedals and zero originality. Playing in a band became a career of choice, and The Hard-Ons decided to get out through the left door before it got too ugly.
Proof is in the pudding: Too Far Gone is uneasy listening deluxe. Creepy, moody and violent one minute, gloriously soaring and melodic the next. Production is pure dynamite, thanks to the wonderful acoustic qualities of the much-missed Festival studio and the supremely gifted team of Thee Slayer Hippy and Tony Lash.
The Hard-Ons' recorded output had always been wildly eclectic and adventurous. They go over the edge with Too Far Gone. Too far gone indeed. Essential and timeless listening for all fans of underground Australian music ... punk, pop, or otherwise.