The 65’s’ debut album, Strike Hard!, has been received extraordinarily well. This is not without reason; the CD is carefully constructed, well balanced and relatable. The band is accustomed to playing acoustic shows, however, the loud rock songs off this album prove that they also know how to take it up a notch.
Strike Hard! begins with “Walk On Selfishly,” which is best classified as a hard rock song. It is composed of repetitive lyrics, heavy guitar sounds and loud percussion. It is catchy and still manages to convey the ideas of anger and acceptance. Tracks similar to this are scattered throughout the rest of the album. “We Came Together” proves The 65’s’ versatility. With its fast-paced tempo, it is the type of song that prompts listeners to turn the volume up and sing along.
In contrast, the album also contains the kind of music The 65’s are used to: Unplugged. “I Got You” serves to be the transitioning element. Neither loud nor acoustic, “I Got You” is nostalgic and heartfelt. Its melancholy background music conveys emotion and is the perfect balance between the band’s two competing sounds.
This track paves the way for the acoustic songs. “Are You Sick of Me Yet” seems to be the most raw and expressive. The soft guitar chords are complimented by the vocals, which are dripping with longing and frustration. There is no question about it—this is what the band does best. The 65’s then allow room for their female vocalist, Cindi Merklee, to sing a beautiful acoustic track called “Worse Comes To.”
The 65’s have managed to maintain their original style while incorporating new, experimental pieces. Strike Hard!’s meaningful lyrics are accompanied by basic melodies, gravely vocals and a great deal of heart and soul.
In A Word: Soulful