Hadley Seventy-One the Beautiful

Like cockroaches, Volvos and Keith Richards, grunge seems destined to outlive us all. With nary a grumbling heroin lament, look-at-me guitar wank or exultant shout-out to Jesus in sight, Seventy-One the Beautiful, the debut from Montréal three-piece Hadley, reminds of what ye olde Seattle sound really was before the major-label marketing machine kicked into gear — loud, no-nonsense hard rock for the indie set. When it comes to delivering the goods, this trio don’t mess around; "Keepsake” is barely 30 seconds old before its meaty, immediately accessible refrain kicks in. The intro to "Touch the Sky” teases with tempered guitars and David Segreti’s sensitive-dude croon before hurling itself headlong into the sort of sun-drenched power chord cloudburst Audioslave would make if they were, you know, fun. Hadley don’t cut corners with their enormous, industrial-grade hooks — "Closer,” "Ultra” and "Broken” are all modern-rock radio-worthy, if a little homogenous — and are smart enough to know when to quit. There is no string section, no soppy ballad, no overtly humiliating lyrics, just simple and straight-ahead riff rock. Best of all, the bombast-o-meter rarely ventures into overblown Creed-esque ostentation. Modest nü-grunge? What a concept. (Mutation)