Like a real-life character out of Bruce McDonald’s classic film Hard Core Logo, Scott Earl Hardy has played the same dives across Canada more times than he’d care to mention, been on the wrong end of too many bad deals, and survived his share of near-death experiences. Yet, through it all, he never lost his passion for writing and performing rock and roll in its most dangerous form.

Hearing Hardy’s new album, Love Kills Slow, without knowing any of this, one could assume that an artist half Hardy’s age was responsible for its potent garage-punk-blues concoction. But deep within these grooves lies punk rock’s original promise, fulfilled by music only someone with Hardy’s credentials could create.

Love Kills Slow is a collection of the best tracks Hardy has recorded over the past few years at producer John Dinsmore’s Toronto studio, Lincoln County Social Club. Dinsmore also contributed scorching lead guitar, after laying the foundation on bass with his NQ Arbuckle rhythm section mate Mark Kesper on drums.

In many ways, Love Kills Slow brings Hardy’s career full circle. In 1979, he became the bassist in Stark Naked and the Fleshtones, one of Toronto’s seminal first generation punk bands, and the group’s loud, fast and snotty approach made them favourites on the club and campus circuit.

By the late Eighties, that style of punk rock had fallen out of fashion, prompting Hardy to take his temporary leave of the Canadian music scene. Since his return, the focus has squarely been on the future and building a body of work under his own name for the first time. With Love Kills Slow, Hardy has put together album that sounds as vital in 2016 as it would have in 1976—a reminder that the best rock and roll still exists at street level.