Harmony – Carpetbombing


Artist

Album

Carpetbombing

Label

Poison City Records

Year

2014

Genre

For Fans Of

Jeff Buckley - Billie Holiday

Summary

An emotional monster.

Rating

74 / 100

Groups like Harmony (hailing from Melbourne) just don’t seem to come around anymore. Channeling a lot of early blues, jazz, and gospel vocal influences, the Poison City six piece create music that manages to work its way into the very depths of your soul, exposing corners of emotion that you didn’t even know existed, with their unique approach to music.

Carpetbombing’ is a brooding, heartbreaking monster of a record, with the type of raw emotion that you just don’t get to hear in modern recordings, which is partially owed to the production quality of the record. Showing a lot of influence from early jazz vocalists, the music bears something of a similarity to that era, which comes across powerfully in the production. It wouldn’t be a shock if we find out that the group actually employed ‘less advanced’ techniques of recording and mixing to get the final result, It sounds bad, but it adds a lot to this particular style, and certainly gives the album a strong identity.

The gospel harmonies featured from start to finish on this record take the record into a strange territory, showing a side to their sound that is truly haunting, also aided by each of the lead melodic lines. While never taking on one single form, the male vocals channel a range of influences, at times sounding as if they could fit in anywhere on a Jeff Buckley track, whereas when the females take the spotlight (such as on ‘Cut Myself Clean’), they resemble the vocal stylings of some of the great late 30’s/early 40’s jazz greats, such as Billie Holiday.

There are times when the record seems to run together a bit, with many of the tracks sounding rather similar, although this is more than made up for by the sheer emotional intensity of the record. Besides, there are moments, such as ‘Cold Storage,’ where the group create a wall of noise in each ‘chorus,’ or ‘Wailing Widow’ where they add some early punk rock conventions to their music.

Conclusion

‘Carpetbombing’ is an incredibly emotionally intense record. At rare moments, it is full of great joy. At others, it’s morose. It is consistently hitting either extremity of the spectrum in a way that frankly, just doesn’t happen anymore these days.

Tracklisting

  1. The Closing Of The Day
  2. On Your Summons
  3. Water Runs Cold
  4. Diminishing Returns
  5. Pulse
  6. Cold Storage
  7. Unknown Hunter
  8. Underground
  9. Cut Myself Clean
  10. Big Ivan
  11. Do Me a Favour
  12. Prayer For War
  13. Wailing Widow
  14. Vapor Trails
  15. Carpetbomb

Leave a Reply

You must be registered and logged in to comment on this post.