Pretenders – Hate for Sale
The Pretenders’ Hate for Sale has to be one of the most crisply constructed albums this writer has heard since Tool’s Fear Inoculum almost a year ago. The band, who have seen many key members come and go (and, unfortunately, pass away) over 40 years, prove to have the same gusto in their current incarnation as the original line-up did a long time ago.
These rockers, founded by lead vocalist and primary songwriter Chrissie Hynde way back in 1978, show no signs of slowing down with a record that threads the needle between their classic rock roots and contemporary melodies. This is instantly noticeable with the titular opening song that contributes to the discourse on masculinity with a smart, subversive perspective on “a guy like that” with “money in the bank and coke in his pocket, porn all day, wanks like a rocket.” The sort of rock star we’re used to hearing about, skewered through Hynde’s growl. The gendered theme comes full circle with the album-closer Crying in Public, a beautiful piano-driven number in which she passionately highlights: “Feminists claim that we’re all the same, but I don’t know a man who’s felt the same shame.”
What makes Hate for Sale so whole and satisfying, beyond the top-tier songwriting, is the variety of flavours it offers. If it’s the Specials-esque reggae sound that one is craving, Lightning Man has you covered. If you want the retro vintage punk rock that characterised the 80s, Turf Accountant Daddy is the jam. The Buzz is classic Pretenders, and Hynde relishes the opportunity to flex her magnificent vocals in the 70s rock ballad You Can’t Hurt a Fool. At a lean 30 minutes, Hate for Sale is a new classic for the band’s storied oeuvre, pushing forward a timeless sound into the current zeitgeist through nuance and precision.
Hate for Sale is released on 17th July 2020. For further information or to order the album visit the Pretenders’ website here.
Watch the video for The Buzz here: