Best of 2004-2014 is the latest in a list of Greatest Hits albums designed purely to remind those of University age of the fleeting nature of life on Earth. Celebrating their ten year tenure as a band, you can’t help but think “Since when did these guys have enough music for a Greatest Hits?” and to be honest, the band seem to feel the same, as the cover is exactly the same as debut album Stars of CCTV. But that’s from a time where the band could count Paul Weller, Mick Jones and The Specials among their fans, so who can blame them for harking back to better days? Songs like ‘Hard to Beat’ and the swaggering ‘Cash Machine’ are pretty darn good, and if it weren’t for this reminder that Hard-Fi were once a very, very cool band, they might have died out and been doomed to be featured on a Buzzcocks identity parade much sooner than expected. Nostalgia aside however, Best Of is a bizarre album. It’s a Greatest Hits where a lot of the songs you’re hearing for the first time. This is a recap of the career that never was. Another band fallen foul to second album syndrome, where even the single new song ‘Move Over’ is a retread of past glories.

[Jack Smith]

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