Written by: PP on 26/06/2021 13:14:01

Hailing from Brighton, UK, Harker describe themselves as emogaze in their press release, but the truth is their sophomore album "Axiom" aims to be more like the UK counterpart to gravelly punk bands like Small Brown Bike, Samiam, and of course Jawbreaker. There are similarities to be found to fellow European bands like The Shell Corporation and Antillectual as well in that it's not entirely gravelly, anthemic sing-alongs, but also elements from mainstream punk bands like Rise Against are audible in the mix on select songs. Cross those two styles together and you have pretty much "Axiom" in a nutshell.

Expect plenty of smoked vocals, a fuzzy, noisy atmosphere that's sometimes heavier, sometimes more ambient, but always depth-laden and coarse. This naturally means the songs are growers, as you need to absorb the thick layers of guitar and distortion as well as the not-immediately catchy vocal hooks, but that's also the stuff of longevity that we like over here.

When Harker are at their best, such as on "Adulthood" or on "Moriah", they deliver brilliantly catchy, emotionally-charged Midwestern punk rock with shouted out vocals that follows in the exact footsteps of records like "Fell & Found" or "Trips". The influencing bands are obvious, but Harker takes good care of avoiding the derivative sound trap, producing a slightly different twist to the classic gravelly soundscapes to keep themselves separated. That said, while "Axiom" is a good record, it's somewhat inconsistent. The best songs are right up there with the genre heavyweights, but elsewhere, the band does have a tendency of sounding a tad anonymous, albeit not bad by any means.


Download: Adulthood, Moriah, The Beasts Must Die
For the fans of: Jawbreaker, Small Brown Bike, The Shell Corporation, Samiam, Antillectual
Listen: Facebook

Release date 23.04.2021
Wiretap Records / Disconnect Disconnect Records / Shield Recordings / Fixing A Hole Records

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