Coney Hatch

Toronto's own outta hand hard rockers and freaks of friction CONEY HATCH are alive and […]
By Michael "MettleAngel" Francisco
November 8, 2013
Coney Hatch - Four album cover

Toronto's own outta hand hard rockers and freaks of friction CONEY HATCH are alive and well, and still holding on to their not yet faded glory. Keep an eye out for their love games, because these operators are still swinging around monkey bars.  They were quite popular in the early 80's while living the fantasy, even though they are named after The London Coney Hatch Lunatic Asylum. Thankfully, these revived rockers have re-united with the classic line-up set to stand up strong and shake it loose.

Following the near fatal car accident in 2008 that nearly killed Carl Dixon, the band is refueled and have the fire to regain a strong following now that they are signed with Frontiers. They have worked with Kim Mitchell and Max Norman in the past, and they had a number of radio friendly hits. Carl also went on to play with APRIL WINE and THE GUESS WHO whiles other members pursued successful solo careers.

I will never forget in 1985 hearing BUSTER BROWN cover the song "Monkey Bars" which is still a cool cut to play today. I know that the first two CONEY HATCH releases have been re-mastered, but the only CD I have ever had is the compilation: "Best Of Three" with material from their first three albums. In order to get a sense of what they sound like think ALDO NOVA, AXE (FLORIDA), '80s era APRIL WINE, HELIX, KICK AXE, etc. The new material on "Four" allows for a few updated elements, but still maintains that classic '80s Hard Rock flavor.

The Y&T "Open Fire" effect of "Blown Away" makes you want to feel that feeling again with its punchy anthem, and pounding drum beat. I am pretty sure that Carl is doing all the singing this time, even though in the past Andy also served as lead vocalist on a number of hits like "Some Like It Hot" or "Wrong Side Of Town". "Boys Club" has a great vibe to it as does "Down & Dirty", you can almost feel the sleaze, but not be blinded by the glam. "The Devil U Know" has a strong message to it, and exhibits a mature level of songwriting.

"Marseilles" is pure fun and homage to the locale, replete with a French toast to the town. "Keep Driving" has a MOODY BLUES "Asleep At The Wheel" meets B.O.C. "Dancin' In The Ruins" motif. Overall, CONEY HATCH is still connected to their original fan base, but they are not averse to trying new things too, which accounts for the funky vibe, and some more modern elements in favor of acts like NICKELBACK, DISTURBED, MY DARKEST DAYS, DAUGHTRY, etc. This is where I draw the line, as I prefer their original style and when they write songs in the vein of "Devil's Deck" is when I am most pleased. Believe me, all of us, we want more of the older style.

I get no sleep tonight until I finish this review, so pay attention. It is high time to get to know these victims of rock who still make great music in the night, and I look forward to watching them do it again.

7 / 10


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"Four" Track-listing:

1. Blown Away
2. Boys Club
3. Down & Dirty
4. Do It Again
5. Connected
6. Revive
7. We Want More
8. The Devil U Know
9. Marseilles
10. Keep Driving
11. Holding On

Coney Hatch Lineup:

Carl Dixon - Lead Vocals, Guitars
Steve Shelski - Guitars
Andy Curran - Bass, Backing Vocals
Dave "Thumper" Ketchum - Drums & Percussion

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