Here are a few early reviews of Gone Hazel music.

Gone Hazel
“The Kids Are Bored” (RepByPop Music)
by Mike Messersmith (Rats in the Hallway, e-zine, February 1998)

From the very first few seconds of this disc, you know you’re in for something a bit different with regard to the glut of sameness that seems to have permeated the rock/pop/alternative/whatever-you-call-it world of MTV-patronized music we’ve been forced fed. These guys are pop–they make no bones about it–but they do it well, and there’s plenty of guitar crunch and feedback from this Toronto-based trio to satisfy those who need their alterna-fix.
What makes this disc a few steps above the rest are, quite simply, the songs and the vocals. Guitarist Roberto LiVolsi and Bassist Bob Cellini are the creative forces here, writing two-minute pop gems that hold up lyrically as well as musically. Cellini’s singing alternates between pure smoothness (“Famous”) and raw anger (“Circle Jerk,” “If I Could Rule The World…”), while LiVolsi’s quirky, almost smart-assed crooning (“Instant Therapy,” “The Kids Are Bored”) is a perfect contrast. Drummer Tim Woodger also makes a strong contribution with the infectious “Mr. Monday.” The disc clocks in at just under 24 minutes, proving once again that it’s not how long it is, but how you use it.

The Kids Are Bored by Gone Hazel
Reviewed by Jay Morthland, Yellow Pills Issue #9, 1998

Catchy stuff, nasally sung with nicely strewn background vocals. A bit like Ben Folds Five with an attitude instead of a piano. I respect any band who references their own name in one of their songs. Hazel pop is nasal pop – and nothing to sneeze at.

The Kids Are Bored by Gone Hazel
Reviewed by Manfred Sittmann, Extreme, issue 23, late summer, 1998

I don’t know if I would say that GONE HAZEL collectively wear their influences on their sleeves, but they are definitely borrowing clothes out of some pretty famous closets. The opener, “Learning to Crack Part 2” comes off like a harsher Semisonic and “Uh Was a Hound” is “I’m the Man” era Joe Jackson in spades. Their wonky hooks and off the cuff lyrics often recall Newark, Delaware’s Caulfields, another band who wear the Costello/Squeeze/Jackson school uniform. The production however often belies the writing here, though and that’s a shame. Let’s get these guys in the studio with someone like David Bianco (Teenage Fanclub, Black Lab) and see what they’re capable of.

Sport by Gone Hazel, from the EP, How to Get a Record Deal (RepByPop Music)
Review by

This is how Power Pop would be made in a perfect world: old screaming guitar tones, boyish harmonies, classic melodies, witty arrangements and just damn good songwriting, mixed together to create something that expels pure chemistry. Anyone panning them as a retro band is missing the point.

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