Friday, January 30, 2015

Check The Math...

HARPS - HARPS EP (2014)


Here with their debut EP is the new Paris-based trio of HARPS, a band which is so far specializing in rock with some post-metal elements.  The four tracks on this EP kick off with "Back to the Ground", which has some strong work on the instruments, particularly the drums, though the vocals seem too glam to fit with the rest of the song.  The second track, "Everyone's Halloween", focuses more on the instrumental side of things, though again, the vocals feel disingenuously slick when put against the grumbling bass and rolling guitar.  "L'éclat" shifts to a slower mode for the instruments and a gruffer style for the vocals, hitting the sweetest balance between the two sides to be found on the EP.  Lastly, there's "Warriors", by far the longest track here, with 7+ minutes of carefully-developed rhythms and layers.
The EP features some careful production, as with the sleek cross-fading from track to track, but to my ears, things are a little too controlled, and the band would do well to let the music breathe with less cagey arrangements.  That may be at odds with the math rock/post-metal pieces they seem to be working to incorporate, but as it is, it feels as though the music is being denied some exciting possibilities.  With more wild abandon and less crooning, HARPS could put their technical prowess to some lively ends.  It remains to be seen how they choose to develop their sound (maybe they'll even include some harps someday), but the potential is certainly there.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Destrage, Genesis Climber, John Gallow, Toska, Cutty's Gym




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