This month for my listening pleasure I have been given a copy of “What You See Is What You Get” by Sutton-in-Ashfields finest Hung Like Hanratty. Although their name was familiar to me, their music wasn’t – until now! Hot on the heels of second album “50 Shades Of Shit” comes this belter of a record, inspiringly titled “What You See Is What You Get” – a sentiment one can’t argue with. So what’s it like I hear you ask? Well, basically its 14 banging Punk songs filled with humour, observation, wit, colourful language and great lyricism – and the musicianship is none too shabby either!

It opens brilliantly in “Clampit Town” – yes; we’ve all seen them down the shopping centre in their jim-jams, like it’s perfectly normal! A phrenetic drumbeat opens proceedings with an equally raging guitar section before Al (vox) comes in with a direct and angry vocal to match. The racy, noodly bridge briefly gives breathing space before that anthemic chorus kicks back in right up to its conclusion.

“Lawyers For You” begins slower, more measured. A wonderful observation of our claims system in this Country, matched to some witty lyricism. It speeds up for the chorus and the lyrics are toilet humour level but it slows for the verses. Another noodly bridge preceeds more humour throughout but it’s a serious message. The rat-a-tat drumming perfectly combines with the fast chunky guitars and bass, a feature maintained throughout this collection.

The great debate about the misuse of “Disabled Parking” put to song. No quarters given here, this is social observation at its finest. Some “la,la,la’s” early on keep the humour level high, while the chiming guitars in the background are subtle. Vocally I’m reminded of Jason Perry “A”, but the similarities end there. “Do you need glasses, or can’t you read? – a quick kick in the bollocks mate, is what you Need”. Kind of sums it up really!

With tongue firmly in cheek they write this wonderful little ditty; name-checking a certain “Mr. Weinstein”, and amend the story slightly to a male perspective. It’s American sounding in delivery which is somewhat apt, although not really Pop/Punk. The vocal style is similar to its predecessor and more noodling around in the bridge, lyrically it’s equally clever and funny. And it has that classic Punk staple – the sharp ending.

“Stop Playing with Yourself” – need we say more. A direct and humorous chorus that ‘pulls’ no punches! I wonder if this is a true story of observation or one of pure fiction? The stretched bridge is strained somewhat before the clangy guitars return. The drums are powerful throughout, and the vocal clear and direct.

Next up is the brilliant “Shut My Gate”. It opens with a wispy guitar part before an angry vocal takes centre stage with the chorus. It’s an all too familiar story of laziness, put to song. The rhythm guitars here (Ricky) are the standout feature, matched to the powerful hitting of Kyle (drums) throughout. The angry chorus continues to the song’s end and again it’s abrupt.

“Neighbourhood Watch” begins with a subtle bass intro before exploding into life. A sad indictment of old people with too much time on their hands. Again pulling no punches it’s blunt and to the point. In the breaks from the guitar ferocity Tezza’s (bass) is a calming feature, before a return to the power. A humorous mid-song break allows some mid-eighties ‘Hair Metal’ noodling to creep in, but thankfully it doesn’t last too long as parity is resumed and the chunky guitars return to its conclusion.

“Evil Clown” has a great guitar intro and the silliness in the chorus briefly makes me smile. On a more serious note the song has a certain person in mind but is overlong I feel, notably in the extended choruses to the finish. A brief noodley bridge and some swearing I’m afraid can’t save this song, but it’s not out of place here.

A lumpy bass intro makes way for another story of life, this time in the furniture showroom! “Outer Body Experience” is an altogether familiar story we’ve all experienced from time to time. The shortest song on here but with a clear message – and the ending is simply hilarious!

“Keep Your Cat Off My Garden” has a similar humour level to “Shut My Gate” and is no less enjoyable. Told in storytelling style but with a menacing anger in the background. The slow/fast formula works perfectly as Al (vox) humorously ends the story with honest glee! It’s a Punk song alright, but one can’t help but think it may be a true story?!

Ah yes, our beloved “Taxi Driver” bless him – with his own Highway Code. A chiming guitar intro gives way to hard hitting and a story of our “friend” the Taxi Driver – ‘one law for us, another law for taxi drivers – it fucking stinks’!! The chorus is as angry as it is anthemic and continues right to the end. A double bridge this time, no doubt while Al calms himself of his anger before returning to the chorus!

“Ten Bob Millionaire” is an observational view of the suits and the view from below in the social scale. Again a tad repetitive and no shortage of cussing, but you get the sentiment.

“Mr. Boring” is a clever song about someone we have all met at some point in our lives. Brilliant musically and lyrically honest. The noodly bridge is strained before that storytelling honesty shines through until its conclusion.

Title track “What You See Is What You Get” is this bands epitaph and wonderfully concludes this collection. Brutally honest and to the point. An altogether familiar story in the lyrics and unashamedly honest. Anthemic choruses match the powerful hitting and the sinister line “Get a fucking life” perfectly demonstrates what “Hung Like Hanratty” are all about. The (not so hidden) track is flatulent and abrupt.

Last year HLH broke the record for the largest crowd ever to attend a performance at Butlins “Great British Alternative Festival”. Add to that a list of high end supports and Nice and Sleazy Festival appearances that would suggest their trajectory is rising. On the evidence of this their 3rd Album, that first Rebellion appearance cant be far away. And should that not come to fruition they will no doubt garner new fans with their brand of “Good Time Punk”. If like me you like bands like Dirt Box Disco, Wonk Unit, Skurvi and Spunk Volcano and The Eruptions to name four, then add Hung Like Hanratty to your list of bands to see/hear. With emphasis on fun this quintet will make you laugh while jumping around the living room! And on this evidence I will seek out their earlier material. “What You See Is What You Get” – cant argue with that!

Clampit Town
Lawyers For You
Disabled Parking
Harvey Weinstein
Stop Playing With Yourself
Shut My Gate
Neighbourhood Watch
Evil Clown
Outer Body Experience
Keep Your Cat Off My Garden
Taxi Driver
Ten Bob Millionaire
Mr Boring
What You See Is What You Get

Band Members
Al Sation – Vocals
Liam Smith – Lead Guitar
Tezza – Bass
Ricky Barsby – Rhythm Guitar
Kyle Ellis – Drums


Review by Ross A. Ferrone.