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Album Review: No Discordance by Harker

Brighton indie punks Harker release their debut album No Discordance on 9th February through an international coalition of labels including Disconnect, Disconnect & Future Void in the UK, Shield Recordings and Fond of Life in Europe, Wiretap in the USA and Fixing A Hole in Japan. To dissect Harker it’s important to look at their influences. Growing up on a healthy diet of New Jersey and Chicago punk rock bands, Harker, like many their age, spent their formative years learning the lyrics to albums like ‘Goddamnit’ and ‘Hopeless Romantic’ front to back. This style of high-energy ‘cards on the table’ punk rock served them well and laid important foundations for the group, however was something they always wanted to “improve upon,” rather than just “settle” with and led them down a path towards the “guitar orientated” work of artists like Buffalo Tom and Dinosaur Jnr.

“We’re not really the same band anymore,” explains guitarist, Tony. “Anyone who saw us in the early days would probably remember us a really acoustic-orientated band. We love those songs, but we wanted to make everything fuzzier, poppier and LOUDER, which is why we switched to two electrics”. With the debut album you get a different Harker, it’s more of traditional punk rock album, blistering riffs and infectious hooks are the order of the day.

Take lead single ‘300 Cigarettes’ as your reference point. It has all the goodness of early pop punk bands like Saves The Day, Bouncing Souls and The Get Up Kids, while still having a decidedly English sounding twist. Overall, No Discordance doesn’t shift from that template, sticking rigidly to the tried and tested punk rock model. While not being anything out of the normal, it is a strong and commanding punk rock album, ‘Nancy Downs’ and ‘Caught Up’ are excellent songs.

Perhaps Harker pay homage to US punk rock a bit too rigidly. It doesn’t sound originally and quite often falls short of the bands they’re seemingly trying to emulate. By no means a bad album though.

AD Rating 6/10

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