Rich’s Rapidfire Recommendations – bite-sized metal morsels to let you know about albums that have grabbed Rich Davenport by the ears, that we hope you’ll enjoy too! ROCK ON!
Artist: HAREM SCAREM
Label: Frontiers Records
Release Date: December 5th 2014
Garden of Eden; Live It; Early Warning Signs; The Midnight Hours; Whatever It Takes; Saints and Sinners; All I Need; Troubled Times; Never Say Never; Stardust; Garden of Eden (Acoustic Version – bonus track)
This album is BIG! Big riffs driven home by fat guitars, big melodies bolstered by powerful vocals, and big-booted choruses that kick down the doors of your ears and shout “We’re comin’ in whether ya like it or not!” “Thirteen” strikes a perfect balance between melody and heaviness, possessing both in abundance, and the effect of this cocktail is a real feelgood album. Those of us of a certain vintage will remember that in the pre-CD era (gather ‘round young ‘uns, and I’ll spin ye a yarn of the olden days!), long-players usually clocked in at around 45 minutes, and some of the rock records that made the biggest impact hit you with song after song, all killer no filler, and didn’t outstay their welcome, leaving you wanting more. Well, “Thirteen” is one of those records; heavy, well-produced, energetically performed, and written by a band who sound like they’re at the height of their musical powers.
After reuniting in 2013, the boys decided to re-record their classic “Mood Swings” album, released the same year as “Mood Swings II”, and I have to admit, having not really been familiar with the band prior to that, I was knocked out by their new take on an old fan favourite. Bringing one of their classics back into the spotlight like that could have been a risky move, and the band set themselves a high watermark to match with regard to the quality of the follow-up. All I can say as a novice in the ways of Harem, and indeed Scarem, it’s free of stinkers, fillers and clunkers, and I enjoyed it just as much as “Mood Swings II”. Hard Rock on the harder side, choruses you can shout along to, riffs and solos that grab you by the scruff of the neck, and a vocalist with range and dynamics to match the moods of the songs. Can’t wait for the next one!
Harry Hess: Lead and backup Vocals/Keys
Pete Lesperance: Guitars/Bass/Keys
Creighton Doane: Drums
Darren Smith: Backup Vocals