Harlots – The Human War Machine (CD)

Harlots – The Human War Machine / 2006 Self / 2 Tracks / http://www.harlots666.com / harlots666@yahoo.com / Reviewed 24 August 2006

“This Is A Test…and No Flesh Shall Be Spared” is recorded in a very rough way. The heaviness of the track could be due to the guitars and drums playing off of each other, or it may very well be that the distortion created by the recording of these tracks is contributing. The vocals can be heard, but they are hidden behind all of the guitar work and recording distortion of the track. There are lyrics provided during this track, but there would be absolutely no way to understand where individuals are during the track even if one did read along the best they could. The guitar work is something that comes from the metal of the nineties (acts like Pantera and hints of Corrosion of Conformity), but the style that Harlots play is pure hardcore in the current vein.

The arrangements are actually something that varies during the track, and while the production again gets in the way of enjoying this disc, the presence of these intelligent arrangements should show potential fans that the band knows what the hell that they are doing. “This is a Test” is much too long for the amount of material that is present in the track; even when the band goes into an emo style towards the middle point of the track, there is enough of the prior movement in the track to continue to enervate and weaken listeners. “Consensus For The Locust of Thought” has a different approach to the music than does “This is a Test”, but still suffers under the same limitations as the other track has.

For Harlots to really strike it big in the hardcore scene, they need to book themselves in a halfway decent studio and capture the glory and power of the act. The production is not quite as painful on the second track of “The Human War Machine”, but it does render the vocals hard, if not impossible to discern again. The printing of the booklet has made it equally hard to read the lyrics, so that provides listeners with another impediment to enjoyment. I know that Harlots have talent, but at this point one might just pick up their full album or go and see them live to see their magic. Hopefully the band can work out their structural kinks before moving onto their new album, as I am sure that individuals will be able to dig the band en masse.

Top Track: Consensus For the Locust of Thought

Rating: 4.9/10

[JMcQ]

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