Harvey Milk

The Pleaser

Written by: ASH on 05/08/2007 11:30:06

Legendary chaos rock'n'roll icons of the 90'ies Harvey Milk are back again with their latest release "The Pleaser", which has already hit the stores worldwide. Some might have known their first release "My Love is Higher Than Your Assessment of What My Love Could Be" from 1994 , which combined extensive avant garde percussion works with very alternative rock styles, something of which isn't for the inexperienced listener. We will be covering a review of that album some time in the future, so keep your eyes out for it if you're a fan of this particular band and musical trademarks. But today we'll be going under the skin of both "The Pleaser" and the band's actual development from its roots originating from the venues of America.

Like the thorough reviewer who I sometimes tend to be inspired by, I took the albums in chronologically, giving me quite a surprise. I won't spill the beans about their debut album, but it's quite a massive leap from old-school to new school. The welcoming track "Down" is definitely case-closing evidence on this new-found energy, which the three-man piece has found during their many years of playing. The track's got simple, but powerful vocals, sung with a whiskey drenched voice, which sets a pretty decent atmosphere of a seriously catchy rhythm. It's completely chaotic, but you'll undoubtedly be willing to throw yourself into this hurricane. If any hard rock slash alternative rock should need someone to learn welcome tracks from, then these rockers would be a definite recommendation. And to further heighten my encouragement of the album, the second track kicks you even more into the chair with a bass line worth aiming your ears at. Then again, they've got the experience, so what's to expect for a band having toured over countries. After being sat in place, the third track "Shame" lets you discover some of their past styles, especially the immense experimentation with the guitars and the drums. For some, it could be a little too experimental, but given that their development from their first album has taken drastic measures in the positive direction, these random fooling around tracks are actually worth giving a chance. But as we all know, what comes up must come down, and the fourth track "Red as the Day Is Long" tends to become way too special. Sure, it meets its roots perfectly, but again it's too much of the good. Too much smashing around the instruments combined with a little (or way too much) more ethanol simply equals both this track and the fifth "Misery".

Luckily, the sixth track "U.S. Force" saves it all with a guitar slide that I've never found more suiting any track. It'll greatly remind you of the first two tracks, when thinking of energy and the whiskey voice, even though this track seems to be more of a moral boost for American troops stationed in the many Iraqi hot zones. Who wouldn't be a little motivated by some real, catchy and speedy rock'n'roll, flavored by a little: "U.S. Force, unstoppable!" sung through the speakers of a "dressed to kill" Humvee? I place my bets on this track to be used in a soon to come recruitment video, it's just a matter of time before I find it on YouTube. What's interesting though, is that the band gives you a chance to relax when you get to the eighth track "Lay My Head Down", even though this would be a good time to close the bar for front vocalist Creston Spiers, since this track almost lets you visualize him rocking back and forth a barstool, only a little push from falling down into his empty bottles.

All in all, this album is almost pure, good rock'n'roll, but as their addiction for an avant garde twist on some of their tracks tends to pull the entire album into a wrong direction, only to be leveled out by a mint tracks like "U.S. Force". Sadly, there's just not enough good to counter the bad on this release, even though the band's got experience and has shown quite some development. For fans and newcomers, this would be a worthy album to keep in your collection, but expect yourself to frequently clean it from dust.


Download: Down, U.S. Force, Lay My Head Down
For the fans of: Corrupted, Rwake, EyeHateGod
Listen: MySpace

Release date 30.07.2007
Provided by Target ApS

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