Review Summary: The Harlots' debut album "Crawlspaces" should quench the thirst of any ambit music lover looking for a hidden gem.They walked on the stage, a formation of four, without any good reason. They walked for themselves onto that stage, that very cold night in Winnipeg, wondering how big the stage would be; the wind blew a sharp taste of ash into their mouths; people were smoking their cigarettes still, waiting for the performance to start. And so it did. His mouth opened up, pouring out the words; poetry of sorts, enticing the crowd which was broken at the seams; you could cut the tension with a knife when the words came out, and came back again...and again...and again
"They were buzzing and strange;
Made serene in obscene dreams.
Their tongues wagged but never swayed,
At least that's how it was that day.
You're not alone...
But how come we're so below?
Nowadays, it seems that a lot of us obsess over way too many unimportant aspects of our lives: music is no exception. For those currently raising their eyebrows, likely stunned at my degrading music as an unimportant aspect of our lives, well...too bad, in hindsight, it won't satisfy your hunger or keep you warm in Antarctica. However, realizing this brings one conclusion to center stage, in the pressure of the spotlight: rarely does a band manage to please more than half of the people who hear them, and it really hasn't again happened since the likes of the Beatles, U2, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers...until now.
ENTER: The Harlots
[Buck, Lane, Lee, Mark]
Crawling and clawing their way into the music industry through raw talent and persistence, they have somehow managed to leave a bittersweet taste in the mouths of all who hear them.
Why bittersweet, you say? Isn't that a bad thing? Well, I guess it depends on who you ask, but ask yourself, did the Beatles, U2, or the Red Hot Chili Peppers ever leave your mouth coated with sugar? The Harlots acquired their ability to send verbal punches through intense melodies, lyrics and performances; something true of the three widely successful bands I've already mentioned. They say it how it is, describing consistencies through inconsistencies, direct things in an indirect nature...the Harlots are the next poets of music.
Poetry...from a no-name band?
The song "Below" - the lyrics are featured at the forefront of this review - should provide an excellent example of how poetic the Harlots are. The Harlots do performance poetry; deep, subtle and full of original expression.
This is the part where you scroll back and up re-read the lyrics...
Now you're catching on...
No...The Harlots are not popular -and god forbid the day that ever happens. After all, music is like politics, so it really isn't all that difficult to agree that popularity corrupts. And for those of you who disagree, let's just ask ambit, vintage Green Day fans about this one.
The Harlots, despite flying under the radar, house a huge degree of potential. Their debut album "Crawlspaces" was released in 2003, and is likely collecting dust on whatever shelf your local record store has it placed; however, while going unnoticed by the mainstream, it has not gone unappreciated by those who notice it. You can likely pick it up for under $12 at most record stores - and considering the price you pay, the return in quality is amazing, most notably because "Crawlspaces" is to the few who own it the epitome of what a hidden gem is. If you make the small investment in this album, I'm sure you'll find your ears absorbing the music with a lot of excitement.
Can you feel the anticipation?
I know I did...and I relive it whenever I feel like throwing this album in my player.
The Harlots are a raw Indie foursome that emphasizes high importance on simple, yet catchy melodies. For those of you who doubt that raw and melodic could ever walk hand-in-hand and cooperate successfully, perhaps this album will change your mind. Essentially though, the Harlots take musical theory and other musical aspects back to the basics, and prove beyond any doubt that simplicity equals quality. It is very hard to ignore a band that sticks to raw distortions, inviting acoustics, upbeat drumming, and anthem-like lyrics. So why continue to ignore?
There is probably a good chance that you're saying to yourself that this is a completely over the top review that gives too much credit to a no-name band.
I sympathize with that, after all, I wasn't so easily convinced either.
How can I put this, exactly? Is there a certain caliber that'll help you understand how I credit this band's sound, originality, intensity and engaging nature? Well, I could go as far to say that, if the Beatles were an up and coming band of today that they might sound something like this.
Actually, I think I will go as far as to say that.
But that doesn't exactly do justice. Sure, the Beatles were arguably the greatest band in the history of the music business, providing endless inspiration to an infinite amount of successors and wannabes; however, I won't push over quite that easily.
Close your eyes and consider the following question. Well, Err...you know what I mean.
If you've ever found yourself, even for a brief moment, in a state where you felt isolated from the rest of the world, then you might agree that not only was that feeling enjoyable, but is also preferable. I mean, who wouldn't love living a life which consisted of waking up and never having to worry about the outside world. This is the melodic and musical punch that the Harlots provide. It is an escape from the real world, and quite honestly, provides a stellar example of exactly what it means to get lost in the music. The production and quality of their songs is completely first-rate, providing everything that should be expected of them. Definitely give these guys a try.
Check out their site for some music samples.