CONEY HATCH – Four [comeback album]
This was requested again by one of you and it’s a really nice one because this album was criminally ignored when originally released. And it’s a really good one.
Along with such contemporaries as Helix, Killer Dwarfs and Headpins, CONEY HATCH defined Canadian hard rock in the ’80s. The band returned with this “Four“, their first album in nearly three decades released via Frontiers Music.
For those uninitiated, Coney Hatch broke onto the Canuck music landscape at the beginning of the Eighties releasing three albums on Anthem / Polygram and toured with the likes of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ted Nugent and Cheap Trick.
Coney Hatch made a huge splash on the international hard rock scene when their self-titled debut album arrived in 1982 produced by Max Webster’s frontman / guitarist Kim Mitchell. The disc featured the stand-out tracks Devil’s Deck, Hey Operator and Monkey Bars — catapulting the Canadian combo onto world tours.
Two more melodic, high-octane records followed; Outta Hand (1983) and the awesome rockin’ AOR filled Friction (1985), one of my favorite albums in the genre.
But relentless touring and critical acclaim did not equate into gold and platinum sales figures, and by 1986 Coney Hatch called it quits.
What makes this Coney Hatch reunion so unique and special is that it’s the REAL band. Unlike so many of their contemporaries, the Coney Hatch line-up for this “Four” CD features the original members — including lead singer / guitarist Carl Dixon, vocalist & bassist Andy Curran, guitarist Steve Shelski and drummer Dave ‘Thumper’ Ketchum.
“Four” kicks off with the first single, the infectious “Blown Away”. Immediately the album has me smiling, as this song has everything I love about Coney Hatch, driving in your face drums and bass, shredding guitar solos and the vocal prowess of Carl Dixon through the big sing along chorus.
Hell Yeah! The Hatch is back.
Other highlights include “Boys Club”, a dirty little rocker that offers plenty of the band’s signature-style, gritty guitar work and Andy Curran taking the vocal lead. Tongue in cheek, nasty rock n roll, exactly what the doctor ordered.
The album plays out delivering plenty of balls-out rockers in “Down N Dirty”, “Connected” and the classic rock of “We Want More”, balanced with some softer, lovable melodic rockers on “Revive” and “Holding On”.
Finally, “The Devil U Know” is a textbook example of how a good rockin’ track can (and should) be built around a great guitar riff.
Having two very talented yet different vocalists has always been a cool part of Coney Hatch’s sound. They say that rock ‘n roll will keep you young and that should be true as Carl and Andy’s pipes sound as strong as if they had recorded the vocals back in ’87.
Yes, after more than thirty years, “Four” finds Coney Hatch at the top of their game — both musically and vocally.
In sum, “Four” serves as a mighty vehicle for a band that remains a powerful and authentic hard rock force.
01. Blown Away
02. Boys Club
03. Down ‘N Dirty
04. Do It Again
07. We Want More
08. Devil U Know
10. Keep Driving
11. Holdin’ On
Carl Dixon (lead vocals, guitar)
Andy Curran (vocals, bass)
Steve Shelski (lead guitar)
Dave Ketchum (drums)
BUY IT !