Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Hanson Brothers: Sudden Death

Appropriately named after characters in the legendary 1977 hockey flick, Slap Shot, The Hanson Brothers skated onto the scene from Canada in 1992 with their first album, Gross Misconduct. A blatant (and rather proficient) musical tribute to The Ramones with an unsurprisingly-high lyrical focus on the game that inspired their moniker, the band (originally launched as the alter egos of longtime Canadian cult heroes NoMeansNo) offered cheeky “puck” rock served up with cover art that mimicked The Ramones’ Road To Ruin.

Listeners who stuck around past the initial joke soon discovered that there were actual songs underneath the hijinks – and damn good ones at that. In fact, Gross Misconduct was one of the best Punk albums released in the ’90s. (Just take a listen to “No Emotion” and “A Night Without You.”) One has to wonder what would have become of The Hanson Brothers had they been based in Berkeley, CA instead of Victoria, Canada. After all, their music easily rivaled – and often exceeded - the likes of Screeching Weasel and the rest of the Lookout! Records clan. Too bad their work has been lost to history – until now.

Originally released in 1996 (and re-released by Southern Records in 2012), the band’s sophomore release, Sudden Death, keeps the better-with-each-listen joke going with 15 more hokey hockey hits. Highlights include “We’re Brewing,” "I Never Will Forget Her” and, ahem, “Hockey Song.”

While nothing on this album will change the world of music as we know it – or come close to matching the band that it shamelessly emulates – Sudden Death remains a satisfying dose of goofy mid ’90s Punk that still sounds great all these years later.

To order Sudden Death, visit


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