Australian indie-punk duo The Hard Aches are already staples in their home country, and going by the strength of their recently-released sophomore album Mess, they seem primed for a much bigger, international breakthrough. The album features Georgia Maq of likeminded Australian band Camp Cope duetting with Hard Aches singer Ben David on "Happy" and also singing backup on album closer "Family," and Camp Cope's US pal Jeff Rosenstock lent his voice to "Friendship" (he laid down his vocals while in Melbourne for last year's Poison City Weekender). It was produced by Sam Johnson, who did the first Camp Cope album, and also works with fellow Australian indie-punks (and Jeff Rosenstock collaborators) The Smith Street Band.

You can probably guess the kind of music The Hard Aches make based on their collaborators, and fans of those collaborators will almost definitely like this band too. Like Camp Cope, they make punk with a sad folky quality to it, and they can also really turn it up a notch into shouty, anthemic punk the way Jeff Rosenstock does. (Fans of The Menzingers and The Front Bottoms should also take note.) Ben David's got an emotive voice that can go from a melancholic hum to a cathartic roar, and Mess has got hooks for days. The band's sound is rough around the edges (in a good way) but still clear as day and still punches you right in the gut. If you tend to dig music like this, Mess is a must-hear. Check it out for yourself below, and if you like what you hear, you can order it from Anchorhead.

The Hard Aches only appear to have one live date coming up at the moment: Australia's A Day of Clarity festival. Hopefully they'll play the US soon too.

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