album: Pleasure Crimes (01.2007)

Released as a free high quality download featuring complete artwork on the Mexican netlabel (yet) Umor-Rex January 6, 2007.

Label info
You might call the Hardman Bros smart individuals with a penchant for the comedic; you might call them pop subversives who like to delight and pull a fast one on the audience, simultaneously; you might call them astute ironists with sharp ears and an imaginative sense of songwriting and arrangements; hell, you might even call them natural born umorists.

One thing’s for certain: if you’re gonna listen to Pleasure Crimes, better come alert and with your wits sharp as stilettos, otherwise you’ll just miss the point (though perhaps not the pleasure). You could almost describe them as an R&B chart-topper from a parallel universe where Frank Zappa got elected president of the United States only to quit the very next day, you know, just for laughs. Humor and funk are kings here; striking if you stop to consider these guys hail from Germany (not all Germans are serious minded folks… just as not all Mexicans are even half as funny as they think they are).

But let’s focus on the joyous genre Frankensteinisms at work here:

“Transparency”… ah, if only Prince understood that tongue in cheek is not a kissing maneuver… sexy tongue in cheek yeah… well, if you use Ween as foreplay music this might do the trick for you… for tomorrow I wear my shimmering suit of transparency… poetic provocation or pop hook? I don’t care, I’m getting me a new tattoo.

“Cherrytree”… I’m sure I have heard similar phrasings coming out from the luscious mouths of voluptuous black women on the television… wait, what’s that mutant digital buzzing doing there? Melody/Harmony? Mystification, more likely. Sit still while your ghost disappears… I guess some people might feel offended on account of that line, if only they were sharp enough to know they’re being mocked… but wait, what’s with the sharp yet smooth U-turn?

Damn you Hardmans, can’t you sit still for more than one minute? Sounds like… impressionistic de-constructions… oh, a piano! It’s a Hiroshige cherry tree painting of course! Translated into whatever no man’s land musical domain the Hardmans have built for themselves.

So, you get the drift.
Hardman Bros are all about Drift, be it of ideas, musical shapes, moods, sounds, song structures, or preconceived notions about things in general (they hate those)… and about having fun and laughter… and maybe swooning one or two girls in the process (hopefully?).

I’m telling you, Pop does not deserve such inspired and inspiring practitioners.

(Eduardo Lalo Padilla / Jan 6, 2007)

‘Reminiscent of early Beck, Coil, Neil Young, and Nine Inch Nails. This is a very good record.’ (

album: Shirts and Pistols (debut / 2003 & 2004)

Released 04/2003 on Popup Records, Hamburg, Germany (pr0403cd).
Rereleased 08/2004 on Quatermass Records, Belgium (QS 169)

‘This one’s a grower.’ Cyclicdefrost 01.05/English/Alex Ollo
‘Pleasures … watching them feast on whatever suits their fancy.’ Groovesmag 11.04/English/Richard Moule
‘Miraculous, akin to Ween, Notwist, Calexico as
well as electronica.’ Intro 03.03/German
‘Far from intellectual electronica meandering. This
is a whole lot of fun.’ de:bug 04.03/German
‘Grateful Dead meets Funkstoerung.’ Ultimo 06.03/German
‘Cutting edge pop-psychedelia.’ Rolling Stone 04.03/German
‘… diverse, dense, inspired.’ SPEX 05.03/German

Wow, Toll. Dankeschoen.


Compilation appearances

Pearls in front of pigs compilation (Popup Records, Hamburg, Germany pr0503cd) featuring unreleased “Pleasure Crimes” tracks “Nerds” & “In a coma”.

Hinterzimmer Pop compilation (Popup Records, Hamburg, Germany pr0503cd) featuring Shirts and Pistols track “Latin mutations”.