58: Hardrocklover

HITnRUN Phase One (2015)
You can tell this Prince & Joshua production was recorded in the same session as June as they both start in a similar soundscape. However, Hardrocklover soon takes a very different trajectory. At the start, when its My Jamaican Guy synths are twinkling like interstellar steel drums, only its title gives any indication of the carnage to come. An undertow of sinister sub-bass then pulls you in and before you know it you’ve been smashed over the head by a mountain-blast of hard rock. It’s where the Art Official Age and Plectrumelectrum albums collide and it feels exhilarating to stick your soft, vulnerable headspace into the impact zone. Years ago I was approached by a brick shithouse of a guy wanting to fight me. I hadn’t provoked him, he was high on PCP and had picked me at random. I ignored him and continued chatting to my friends with him yelling behind me at an increasing volume. Just as his violent threats reached their peak and it was clear the ignore tactic wasn’t working, my group of friends started repeatedly screaming at me “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!?”. Now I was surrounded by people on all sides, all inexplicably yelling at me. Stuck between a ruck and a hard case. I almost broke down in tears. What HAD I done!? I didn’t realise at the time but this is a classic technique to deflect aggression. Escalating the situation but shutting the main perpetrator out. I didn’t know this but my friends did. And it worked. The drug-addled thug sloped off, evidently thinking I had enough to deal with, and my friends resumed their chatting like nothing had happened. I’d never felt more bewildered or, afterward, more dosed up on that heady cocktail of fight-or-flight hormones. On some level it made me understand what drives certain people to spend their evenings roaming the streets looking for a fight. PCP must heighten this buzz because violence from its users and abusers had become a serious problem in the city where this happened (the same thing actually happened to me again but that time the “flee in a passing cab” tactic worked). I propose we send copies of Hardrocklover to every city with an angel dust problem. Played at loud volume, it’s a harmless substitute for unsolicited violence. Spend the verses summoning all the anger in your blackened soul and then direct it all into the sky during the primal screams of the chorus. Admittedly I’ve never taken PCP but I’ve blasted Hardrocklover through my headphones at a level that’ll probably make me deaf in later-years and I can honestly say I’ve never felt the need to beat up a stranger. Coincidence?