As you listen to Tim Rogers goes grindcore (otherwise known as the second track on the new Hard Ons album, Three Separate Lightbulb Moments), you’ll find a mile-wide grin creeping across your face as the madness unfolds.

You read all that right; Aussie college rock Doyen Tim Rogers has joined punk legends The Hard Ons (properly now – this is his first album with the band as a fully-integrated member) and the results are predictably chaotic. Not always good – though never downright bad – but definitely this marriage has come together and it’s issue is pure, unbridled mayhem.

Rogers is, of course, something of a renaissance man, and renaissance men have a habit of swamping everything they come into contact with. Consequently a long term HO fan may fear that their heroes’ identity may be at risk here, and those fears are certainly worth addressing, as tracks like Goin’ It Alone and and Sheets Are A Shroud do sound basically like Tim Rogers with more distortion. However within the context of a full, twelve track album they serve to offer a bit of light and shade (and, dare I say it as a strictly impartial observer, a chance for Ray Ahn, Peter Black and Murray Ruse to stretch a little as musicians), and it’s a fact that somehow, against all the odds all concerned here have played their part in making a truly enjoyable album – but most importantly, an album that seems to matter. It’s important that these blokes have teamed up and taken a chance, and it’s even more important that you give it a fair listen, whatever your misgivings.’

Standout track Never Been Handsome surely speaks for most fans of the band with it’s classic ‘I’m a Datsun 120B in a world of limousines’ line and a chiming guitar motif that wouldnt seem out of place on a Teenage Fanclub album, but it’s grimier fayre like Grandiose and the straight up hard rock of In Falls Everything with it’s muscular riffage and throbbing bassline that will probably resonate best in the live arena and set those worried minds at ease. Whatever, this is, no pun intended, a bit of a ripper of an album…

Ripper 23 is out now