Near perfect indie pop that Hot Hot Heat fans will love
Building on the success of 2002's 'Social Life', Koufax return with their third and most collaborative album yet, 'Hard Times Are In Fashion'. Jointly led by vocalist/guitarist Robert Suchan and songwriting partner/pianist Jared Rosenberg, the duo are accompanied by various co-conspirators – among whom are bassist/guitarist Ben Force, and former members of The Get Up Kids brothers Ryan (drums) and Rob Pope (bass).
If you're a fan of Hot Hot Heat then you're almost certain to like Koufax, as they exude the same volatile melodies and keyboard-led urgency. Yet 'Hard Times Are In Fashion' is the album's title and the 'In Fashion' part is certainly a key element to Koufax's sound; all the chart-topping big names play a part here: the thumping drum beat and up-tempo indie of 'Why Bother At All' smacks of The Killers, while the catchy melodies and near perfect piano led indie pop of a track 'Isabelle' (the first single to be taken from the album) can't help but find comparison with bands like The Feeling. The stylish, street-smart sounds of Razorlight are lurking in the likes of 'Back And Forth' and even the Brit rock sounds of Muse and Stereophonics are laced into the swaggering whine of 'Trouble Will Find You'.
But the quality of 'Hard Times Are In Fashion' would suggest that Koufax are not simply another group jumping on the 'Trendy Indie' band wagon; it might be infectious, but it's also intelligent. 'Get Us Sober', 'Five Years Of Madness', 'A Sad Man's Face' and the anti-war song 'Blind Faith' are constantly questioning, provoking a reaction, and dealing with unsettling issues whilst wrapping them up in catchy, intensely likeable melodies. 'Why Bother At All' is perhaps the most striking, as in spite of its driving beat Suchan asks, "Why bother learning? Reading? Speaking? Breathing?", his whining, apathetic vocals capturing perfectly today's culture of apathy and the 'age of no feeling'.
They might seem to be just another group about to add their name to the growing number of the fashionable indie rock bands that have exploded over the last few years, but with its near perfect mix of intensity, intelligence and infectious melodies 'The Hard Times Are In Fashion' goes a long way to setting them apart from the others. A seriously enjoyable album from start to finish.