Hard-Fi's debut single "Cash Machine" has an interesting bassline, an almost catchy chorus, and a whole load of nothing much else. It's like they mixed Blur, Pulp, The Specials,* and Zane Lowe* in a blender then poured it through a sieve to remove the interesting bits.
Cash Machine' isn't a particularly offensive record (well, except for that Gorillaz patch on their keyboard) but there's not much to recommend it, either. Richard Archer**'s Albarnesque vocal delivery seems to think it's dripping with funky disdain but it really just comes off as forced attitude. For all the band's talk of being West London minimum-wage gunslingers, this single utterly lacks passion and originality. It conveys nothing of the environment they claim to evoke. B-side '_Sick of It All' hums with ska influence plus the added bonus of feedback-laden vocals and facile lyrical hooks.
On the other hand, if you do like it, track two on the single is a karaoke-style remix so you and all your friends can jump fences at Heathrow in Margaret Thatcher masks and sing your little hearts out while waiting for security. Rock and roll.
4Cat Conway's Score