Review by Roy Peak
The acoustic scene in Pennsylvania is crazy damn strong. There must be something in the seltzer. There's folk punk icons Apes of the State with their high energy acoustic emo songs of higher truths; the highly prolific and rocking A Day Without Love; Sweet Anne Marie who sings honest songs of relationships and moving on; and now we have Tedd Hazard, a gruff-voiced singer from Pennsylvania who released an album of 17 songs that clock in just under 49 minutes called Destructive Criticism.
Hazard's songs are fast, to the point, often hilarious, full of self-deprecating humor, and NSFW more often than not. His songs are break-neck paced, often loud and abrasive, but don't let that fool you, these tunes are well-thought replies to modern society. Hazard's characters are drunks, abusers, not too smart, and people we've all met at some point in our lives. He shamelessly straddles the line between political correctness and downright offensive yet comes across as playful, always keeps it interesting musically, and is smarter than he sounds. (It's all an act, folks. Hey Tedd, it is an act—right? On the other hand, don't tell me, I’d rather not know.)
"Nihilistic Northeast Pennsylvania" is "troubled romance bordering on abuse," yet has a marvelous melody and fun banjo throughout.
"House on the Hill" is Archie Bunker as folk punker, grouchy and complaining about Iife's inevitable changes and things you really can't do anything about.
In "Miserable Young Man" he intones:
"Please don’t take it personally
Please take no offense
I just can't gat my shit together
And when I do it's at other people's expense."
"Marquee" brings to mind the bent artistry of musician Troy Lukkarila and his song "Why Can't I Get a Gig?" (Come to think of it, they both use wrecking balls in their imagery. Hmmm… If they haven't met, they probably should.)
In his song "2022" he gets a little misty-eyed—or as misty-eyed as he gets—talking about suicide and lost friends.
Hazard's strong point may be his live performances where he can play out the characters he sings as, so if you're in Pennsylvania and see Tedd Hazard's name up on a marquee, pay the cover and check out the show.
Destructive Criticism on Bandcamp
Destructive Criticism on Spotify
Roy Peak has played electric bass in more bands than he cares to remember for more years than he can remember. He wrote the theme song for the Utica, New York radio show "Hey You Kids, Get Off My Lawn" on WPNR-FM. His solo debut album, All Is Well, has been called "Loud, cacophonous, and beautiful by a truly unique artist." His short fiction has been published in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and he writes music reviews for the King Tut Vintage Album Museum of Jacksonville. Roy writes music reviews for the Rocking Magpie among others.