Nai Harvest

Hairball

Written by: PP on 09/06/2015 20:25:40

Last year, UK's Nai Harvest released an experimental post-hardcore EP called "Hold Open My Head" with plenty of shoegaze vibe that closely recalled Title Fight and the legion of similar-sounding bands that has been popping up as of late. Turns out, this isn't what Nai Harvest are really about as their sophomore album "Hairball" so vividly demonstrates. Gone are all the dreamy sections and moments of shoegaze-like tranquillity, as are post-hardcore vibes. Instead, they now channel straight up garage rock with a few punk undertones, where the vocals are drenched in distortion much like on records by The Strokes and The Thermals. It's upbeat and funky, often feeling like a turbocharged version of the latter band's catchy garage rock, here bringing to mind groups like The Hives and others influenced by them.

The post-hardcore influenced platform suggested Nai Harvest were extremely talented songwriters, so how does that translate into their newfound garage rock soundscape? Well, the resulting expression is a very uniform one where only the speed is varied ever-so-slightly. It's all about racing through the songs in high-octane tempo suitable for seizure-like headbang fashion, of which "Sick On My Heart" is a great example. Then you have "All The Time", which is maddeningly catchy with its overtly simple but effective lyrics repetition, much like "Melanie" a few songs later. They are great examples of how you don't necessarily need much depth or artsy fartsy songwriting trickery to produce great songs.

The energy on display is infectious, and that's enough to get the listener hooked into Nai Harvest's distortion-laden, pedal-driven, high-energy onslaught of garage rock groove on "Hairball" overall. Alas, for brief stints of catchy garage rock to lift your spirits, "Hairball" couldn't be much better. But herein lies its shortfall as well: the simplistic nature of the songs, and the nagging feeling that all of the tracks sound more or less the same, means it's difficult to find much longevity on the record. It's good for simple power-pop style garage rock, but that's not likely to land them on any end-of-year lists come December this year.

Download: Spin, Hairball, All The Time, Melanie
For the fans of: The Thermals, The Hives
Listen: Facebook

Release date 28.04.2015
Topshelf Records

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