Alternative music reviews

September 8, 2006

Carla’s Song by Harmacy

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Sometimes I want to warn bands when they send me CDs – if you sound like my musical heroes then you risk being judged very harshly. Anyone who takes a lot of influence from Sonic Youth or Sebadoh is at risk from being rejected as ‘uninspiring’ because my musical references take control of me. Harmacy are a Bradford band who take their name from a Sebadoh album. Dangerous territory. The title track Carla’s Song starts with a short pure Sebadoh guitar lick but the vocals and the rhythm of verse are not. Second track Dead Letter Day has the feel and musical jauntiness of a Pulp song and even some similar vocal phrasing.

But Harmacy, even at this early stage in their development, already give enough clues that they have something of their very own and are going to be special. Firstly there is the voice (Haydn Wilcox I think), who is laid back but entrancing. It is a low voice with a relaxed, semi-spoken quality that draws you in to whatever he’s singing about. Next there is the apparent shortness of the two tracks. There is not an ounce of padding in them. Both are around 3 minutes 18 long, but they feel much shorter and it’s the understatement that gives me confidence. That’s another way of saying they leave me wanting more.


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