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Album Review: Hairball by Nai Harvest

Sheffield indie-punks Nai Harvest release their second album, Hairball, on the 27th April. It’s a mash of punk energy, indie sensibilities and fuzz-pop charm that thrills and excites throughout its 36 minutes.

Hairball, recorded over a month at the end of last year with producer Bob Cooper (Sky Ferreira, Citizen etc.), is a record that defines where Nai Harvest are right now. Young but focused, a pair of best friends who have found their sound on their own terms after two years of near relentless touring that has taken them to the other side of the world and back, building as they went a fanbase that is now as big in the US as it is here in the UK.

That sound is exhilarating, whether it be the driving riffs of opener ‘Spin’, the instantaneous melodies of ‘Drinking Bleach’ or the speedy and raucous ‘Hairball’. There’s something for everybody on Hairball, while still being unmistakably Nai Harvest their sound has progressed since their 2013 debut Whatever and this will appeal to a far wider audience.

Every track is infectious, ‘Sick On My Heart’ has a garage punk feel that oozes energy and a reckless abandon that will thrill even the most stonehearted listener. ‘All The Time’ has a hook that gets you dancing and you can’t help but sing along. The album highlight comes in the form of ‘Drinking Bleach’. It’s ridiculously catchy; the guitar riff suckers you in and will be going round your head hours later. Hell, it’s a phenomenal riff that is life affirming, you can feel it building and throbbing before it’s let loose and you want to throw your hands in the air and forget the world.

Both ‘Melanie’ and ‘Buttercup’ are great jangly indie-punk tracks. There’s elements of 90s indie bands like Elastica and nods towards the refined emo of contemporaries Prawn. The latter is the only song not specifically written for Hairball, although you find its anthemic qualities sit perfectly alongside the rest. ‘Ocean Of Madness’ shows a slower side to Nai Harvest, it is every bit as enthralling as the livelier numbers and showcases a different side to the band.

‘Gimme Gimme’ is genuine fuzz-pop genius. You can’t help singing along and dance. Utterly infectious you can imagine this will become a live favourite in no time. Title track and album closer ‘Hairball’ rounds things of in real style. Yet again the guitar and drum combo create an expansive sound that defies logic. A truly massive sound from the duo.

With Hairball, Nai Harvest have progressed and created an album that should rightly give them far greater exposure. It is immediate and instantaneous; you’ll be suckered in by the multitude of hooks and harmonies. The energy and dynamics served up shouldn’t be possible for a two-piece yet they execute it with aplomb.

AD Rating 8/10


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