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Coney Hatch: Four

With their appearance at the UK melodic rock festival Firefest in 2011, Canadian rockers Coney Hatch announced their return to the scene in stunningly fiery fashion. A back catalogue of only three albums has over the years grown to be loved and respected and for many in attendance (myself included) the return of the band was a real reason to shake the head in disbelief, before celebrating the reappearing heroes. However the reformation is actually even more unbelievable, with the band's singer and guitarist Carl Dixon having previously slipped into a coma after suffering serious injuries in a car crash. Dixon's wife asked his former band-mates to speak to him, which they all readily did, with fellow Hatch singer and bassist Andy Curran promising his friend that they still had much rocking to do under the name Coney Hatch. Amazingly, after recovering, Dixon remembered those words, with the quartet staying true to Curran's promise, himself, Dixon and lead guitarist Steve Shelski burying the hatchet with original drummer Dave Ketchum, who left the band after the Coney Hatch and Outta Hand albums and before third release Friction called time on the band. The foursome played one warm up show in their homeland before heading out to Firefest, where their "hero's welcome" was lived up to through a festival stealing performance.

Which brings us up to the aptly if not very inspiringly titled Four, the first Coney Hatch album in some two and a half decades. Such a long time away could have led to disastrous results however we needn't have worried. Right from the off, the sparky riff and irresistible chorus of "Blown Away" has you hooked, with a surge of energy, an uplifting vocal line and a real spit of guitars. "Boys Club" ups the ante further, possessing the incisive groove that was a real CH trademark back in the day, allaying any fears that the band may have lost their verve. From there delve into Four at any point for sparkling sounds that have you hooked and crying out for more. "Down And Dirty" is the epitome of a driving song, Ketchum hammering the song on from behind the kit while Curran lays down the bass-law, "Keep Driving" mixes the classic CH sound with a hint of Cheap Trick with stunning results, "Connected" reminds of the debut album classic "Monkey Bars" (high praise indeed) and "Marseilles" out AC/DC's anything Angus and the boys have done for years and years. As ever in the Hatch, Dixon and Curran share lead vox across the album, varying the focus and making for a joyously thrilling rollercoaster ride. However don't underplay Ketchum's mighty drum display, while Shelski is absolutely on fire, providing arguably his strongest six-string outing ever.

There's always a worry when a band you have a genuine affection for returns after a long, long layoff, and while Coney Hatch may have a stellar, if underappreciated back catalogue to live up to, Four fares extremely well even in such exalted company. The more I hear it, the more I like it and more I realise just how much I've missed the glorious sound of Coney Hatch. Welcome back!!!

Track Listing
1. Blown Away
2. Boys Club
3. Down And Dirty
4. Do It Again
5. Connected
6. Revive
7. We Want More
8. The Devil You Know
9. Marseilles
10. Keep Driving
11. Holding On

Added: September 16th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Coney Hatch Online
Hits: 3473
Language: english

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Coney Hatch: Four
Posted by Butch Jones, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-09-16 06:33:04
My Score:

Ahhhh 1983 and Iron Maiden are touring the US in support of their Piece of Mind album (..and my personal favorite Maiden record!). The triple bill for that tour here in NY found Fastway (Fast Eddie from Motörhead) and the Canadian band, Coney Hatch warming up the show. This was an amazing show that I will never forget and all 3 bands were awesome. I remember getting to the show early so I wouldn't miss Coney Hatch. Move ahead over 30 years and Coney Hatch are back and making up for lost time with a new record.

Best known in their native homeland, but the band did have some early 80's MTV success with their video for the tune, "Devil's Deck" (great tune!) and their fan favorite song, "Monkey Bars". All four original members, Steve Shelski, Andy Curran, Carl Dixon and Dave Ketchum are intact and their new record is aptly titled, Four, and contains 11 tracks of Classic Rock fused music that is well produced and sounds like classic Coney Hatch from back in the day. Tunes like "Boys Club" take you right back to the feel of the bands self titled debut, while "Down n Dirty" instantly gives you that AC/DC simplistic, in your face kind of vibe and "The Devil You Know" will just get stuck in your head.

Four is filled with hook laden choruses, catchy, simple and well written. Fans of Kix and AC/DC will love the straight on approach and the keep it simple motto. There are some fist pumping elements to Four and it is very much guitar driven music and after all these years it's nice to hear Coney Hatch music again and finding them sounding like, well…themselves. Four is an upbeat rocker that doesn't exactly reinvent the wheel, but will find a home with Classic Rock fans old and new.

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