Hakan- II LP. Hakan was by far my most pleasant surprise of last year - coming seemingly out of nowhere to unleash an incredible debut album that hearkened back to the mid-2000s heyday of tuneful garage punk. The Italian trio totally hit that sweet spot overlapping garage punk and power pop like no one since The Kidnappers and Marked Men. The album made my top ten list last year, and I'd probably place it even higher if I re-ordered the rankings today. And while it's rare that a follow up album is as good as the original, Hakan II proves to be one of those exceptions! Hakan brought in Jeff Burke from Radioactivity and Marked Men to produce the album and it couldn’t have been a better decision. It must have been a huge thrill for the group to work with a producer who so completely "gets" their music and the results are first-rate. Burke did a wonderful job contributing his expertise to this project while still letting Hakan be Hakan. Like any good sequel, Hakan II doesn't stray too far from what worked so well the first time. 11 of 13 tracks come in under two minutes, and again the band excels at writing hard-driving, catchy-as-hell pop/punk/garage tunes with a rapid fire delivery. Recommended. Import from Italy.