I don't think anyone in Canberra has been anticipating this release as much as me, or maybe Charlotte's dad. But after 2 years of listening to bootleg recordings of live shows and a couple sneaky demos, the wait is finally over. And out? Sorry, enough dad jokes. Let's talk about the record.
Opening with a live crowd favourite Around, straight away it seems clear that The Harlots are here to re-set the tone for break-up songs. Doused in attitude, and full of riffs inspired by some of the greatest punk bands many generations before their time. It's simple where it needs to be, yet diverse enough to keep your attention. That bass tone in the bridge is delightful!
Of course, it doesn't stop there. After just 3 minutes, Everything You Are To Me shifts back a gear and we're led down a more introspective road for the track "sick," which again is oozing with 90's grunge, and layered guitars, before ramping back up for My favourite track from the demos, Too Free.
This guitar hook has been in my head for a long time, and while it's in good company in this record, the way it sits with the rhythm and arguably Charlotte's best vocal performance to date makes this track for me. Add that to the relatable and heartfelt lyrics, and the backing harmonies? Too free should be charting. It's that good.
Slowing down again for Alone Tonight, Charlotte's vocal vibrato takes the front seat, and I just can't focus on anything else until the second chorus. Maybe I'm still whistling that Too Free guitar riff though...
Next stop: Often. We're reintroduced to the sincerity in Charlotte's voice, as well as how tight Daan and Jasper can be, driving that rhythm section home, and building up space for a triumphant wah wah guitar solo, and an intro into the mosh pit song.
Over and out has been the bands most well received song live for years, and with good reason. It's the fastest song on the album and it drives the whole time. Luke also has another killer wah solo here, and as soon as you know "Oh-way-yo" is coming, you're fucking singing that shit.
We close out "everything you are to me" with the longest song on the album, Hit The Limit, and after weeks of listening to this album, the chorus to this song hasn't left my head for more than a day. Doubled vocals and harmony. Just. Fucking. Awesome.
In resolving the last 22 minutes, and in conclusion, we're reminded that there is merit in an album for album sake. While each song has its own notable parts, it tracks so well as an album it's a shame to listen to just one at a time.
Well done mates, and well played. This album rules.
Also, props to Jay Whalley, percussionist extraordinaire. I see you.
Tour info here.