The last we heard from Detroit’s The Hard Lessons, band members “Augie” and “Ko-Ko” had come up with a pretty clever concept: release four EPs, title it the “B&G Sides” and give each a short intro, a “boy” song and a “girl” song. Cute idea, it’s just too bad The Hard Lessons are to rock music what The Jonas Brothers are to rock music (sans the popularity). With wildly insipid guitar distortion and hooks that are tiresome by the second chorus, The Hard Lessons have—sadly—absolutely nothing going for them. Yet Augie and Ko-Ko insist on pushing this “Damn, we’re so rock ‘n’ roll!” attitude, like a couple of punk teenagers trying to pick a fight with Andre the Giant. “Hey Hey My My,” they sing, presumably just to rhyme the next line: “rock ‘n’ roll will never die”—this right before asking “Am I the story of Johnny Rotten?” (whatever that’s supposed to imply). Not surprisingly, The Hard Lessons sound best when they completely abandon this “Rahr! We’re from Detroit and we like our rock ‘n’ roll hot and loud!” façade. The “B&G” session’s best (read: least grating) song, “Everything Away,” is the sort of piano pop you’d expect from Vanessa Carlton. Why not drop the fake rock-star attitude, write some pop songs and make some money? It’s better for the both of us. (Andy Seifert)
March 5 at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, (773)525-2508, at 8pm. $10.