Harem Scarem Thirteen
Harem Scarem return with their first new material for 6 years with their 13th studio album cunningly entitled " Thirteen " . After last years well received rerecorded " Mood Swings " cd and subsequent tour including Firefest , the band reconvened via a pledge music campaign and the fruits of their labours are released for all to hear via Frontiers Records on December the 5th .
For any melodic rock fan this is what it is all about . Harem Scarem have always been about huge riffs with even bigger choruses and enough hooks to land a Great White and Thirteen delivers and more.
The core trio of Harry Hess on vocals / keys ,Pete Lesperance on guitar / bass and keys and Creighton Doane on drums with Darren Smith on back up vocals have produced a 37 minute cd that is all killer no filler with 10 tracks of melodic rock born to be played loud with the roof of your car down which is a shame as it is released in December !
All of the tracks seamlessly flow together creating a warmth and glow that only a band comfortable in their own skin can . From track 1 to 10 each song draws you in let's the music seep through and within a few minutes you are singing along and when you get to the end you press play and start all over again .
The AOR heaven that starts the cd with " Garden Of Eden " that is equal parts heavy and melodic with the trademark huge chorus with backing vocals that Def Leppard would sell their soul for . An instrumental break that reminds me of Mr Big leads into a short sharp melodic Lesperance guitar solo that is as always on the mark .
The hey let's say it poppy " Live It " follows with before a couple of pot boilers in " Early Warning Sign " and " The Midnight Hours " all muscular riff , pounding rhythm and huge huge chorus that is pure and simple classic Harem Scarem . The latter has an AOR style beginning that builds up into the chorus .
What follows is a trademark ballad which shows off Harry Hess to a tee . A rich warm vocal is at the heart of " Whatever It Takes " and back in the day the video would have been all over MTV. They were the days !
" Saints And Sinners " starts the second half without a drop in the quality again all rolling riff and chorus .
" All I Need " is built on an drum rhythm and stop start riff that again builds to a chorus that deserves to be shouted back by fans world wide.
" Troubled Times " has another chugging riff from Lesperance and wonderful Leppardesque pre chorus vocals that as the chorus starts it all stops and then hits harder as they all come in together . Great use of light and shade .
" Never Say Never " slows down the pace with more layered vocals on the pre chorus telling us all to never give up on your dreams . A fast fingered Lesperance solo fits in perfectly.
" Stardust " at 5 and a half minutes is the longest song on the cd on a mid pace track with a trademark chorus with a great melodic guitar line that carries on throughout .
So in 37 minutes a welcome return for a band that should of been huge many many years ago if you have liked Harem Scarem before you will buy it and for anyone else that loves melodic rock and is unsure what to get stick it on your Christmas list.