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Live Review: Harlem Record Release Party 4/1 @ Mohawk

Live Review: Harlem Record Release Party 4/1 @ Mohawk

There has been so much hype about Harlem, the three piece rock band, out of Austin, TX, originally from Arizona.  XMU has been playing them consistently.  They are even hosting for a week on XMU, playing their music among other artists they like and have inspired them.  Maybe I set my expectations too high.

Don’t get me wrong, the same poppy, fifties influenced, music that I have loved on the radio is still in the forefront.  However, I think for a record release party, there should be a less sloppy and carefree approach.   After the second song, one of the band, who shall remain nameless, proclaimed, “I am sorry, I can’t believe you all paid f***ing money to come hear this s**t!”  I wanted him to be wrong and for them to continue on a smoother path, yet it wasn’t meant to be.  I think there is something to be said for not having a plan and improvisation and having fun, but I didn’t get it; I mean if you’re The Who, that’s one thing, but I wanted to see what they could do.  My cohort with me compared them to Pere Ubu, but I could only see some Haircut 100 and that was simply for the clothes…

Harlem’s songs are simple, poppy, catchy and really easy to love.  And the band members switching instruments during the show is impressive and makes them unique.  But, I can only give them an A for Effort this time around.  I will definitely see them again and I still really like the band, just wish it had blown me away.

--Ellen Green

Published: April 05, 2010 |

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