Music Review //
The Cold Stares
"Hard Times"

When I see the name "Hard Times", to me, being my age and my upbringing I will always be taken back to professional wrestling and think of "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes.    Why this feels so appropriate here is because growing up watching professional wrestling as well as listening to music, there is this crossover between the two.   Whether it be the theme song for an entire pay-per-view or simply a song which is played over a highlight video, I think this song by The Cold Stares would fit in rather well with the wrestling crowd.  (The NWA actually held a pay-per-view back in January of 2020 called Hard Times and this would have been a perfect theme song)

The Cold Stares have a guitar-based rock n roll sound which makes me initially think of The White Stripes.  It's the type of sound that you'll hear in a lesser capacity from bands on the radio such as The Black Keys, but it's what I like to think of as some good old fashioned rock n roll with a little bit of the blues built into it (Though, in my opinion, if you research the history of rock n roll, in all of its truest forms there is some blues within)  I'm reminded of when Marty McFly goes back in time and sort of invents rock n roll in "Back To The Future"-- it's that sort of sound.

While the music video consists of mostly shots of the two band members, the reason why I find this to be so fitting is that you really get to focus on the guitar as it is being played.   If there was a different story being told- a little movie- or even if the camera just panned out a little bit, I think it wouldn't have the same effect.   Those close ups of the guitar solos and just the way the guitar is being played is important and on some broader level it just makes me feel like we're seeing the music being played, which gives us the greatest visual benefit.

Without naming names, I can tell you that I've listened to a lot of songs that wish they sounded this good.  This song is just so well put together, it's so solid from start to finish.   As if it wasn't made clear by the title, the song is about being down on your luck and I just feel like, especially after the year 2020, we can all say that we are either there or have been there at some point in our life.  Music is a lot like therapy in the way that you don't have to have fallen on hard times to enjoy this song, but if you have then it does make you feel better somehow and even when things are going good the energy in this song will just get you out of bed and going.