Creating infectious alternative rock ‘n’ roll with a healthy power pop tenacity and rigour to it, UK quartet Harlots release their debut album to end the year with a potent nudge on national recognition. Eleven tracks of virulent pop rock, Chinese Carpet Factory is a boisterous romp littered with flowing melodies, persuasive harmonies, and hooks with an instinctive vice like grip. Add bold rhythms alongside rousing choruses and Harlots have provided one rather enjoyable proposition.
The London based foursome recorded Chinese Carpet Factory with producer Rory Attwell (Palma Violets/Vaccines) on a boat on the bands of the Thames, and straight away it laps ears with feisty persuasion through opener Wicked Tongue. Building from a scene setting sample, the song is soon sauntering along with lively rhythms and just as eager vocals as guitars crash and scythe with spicy enterprise. The bass too is a pulsating slice of bait, it all uniting with accomplished and catchy effect. The song pretty much sets the tone of the album; the individual characters of songs all bred from this kind of rousing combination or certainly carrying a rich vein of it through their varied bodies.
Gotta Get By is quick evidence, the second track swinging in with its own hue of infectious zeal and inventive vibrancy. Part shoegaze, part power pop, and all flavoursome temptation, it bounces along whipping up eager involvement in feet and hips, and even though the song is a slither at less than two minutes in length, it shows that Harlots can be as effective on the dance-floor as in more intimate unions with listeners.
If The Ramones were The Beach Boys, House of Love became Birdland; they just might sound like Harlots on the seductive Seen A Girl whilst the outstanding Every Little Thing merges that with a further touch of indie/Brit pop imagination. The track is an addiction in the making, from vocals to melodies, rhythms to riveting hooks, revelry of pop ‘n’ roll to get greedy over.
Through Work Work Work and Up Away, the album reveals even more variety, the first a web of virulence seeded in sixties Beatles whilst its successor is an alluring croon of acoustic guitar and reflective voice with a chorus as enslaving as any within the bolder, bigger boned offerings within Chinese Carpet Factory. Both songs leave ears smiling and pleasure high before Rush jumps in, off the back of the album’s twenty two second title track, to cast a My Bloody Valentine/Verve like incitement which just seems to get more persuasive with every listen.
There are some tracks within Chinese Carpet Factory which really leap out, Every Little Thing and Gotta Get By a couple and next up You Got Me soon there by their side. Laying a jangle of guitar as its first touch, rolling out anthemic rhythms almost as swiftly, the track bounds around and bounces off ears with voracious revelry, its sixties/eighties pop breath entwined with modern indie ingenuity quite irresistible.
The album finishes with firstly the rawer aired and just as gripping drama of The Colour & The Noise, shoegaze, pop, and noise rock blurring their boundaries in another big highlight, and finally Days Are Done. The Beatle-esque balladry of the final song ensures the album comes to an engaging end, its embrace not as pungent as elsewhere within Chinese Carpet Factory but still a potent end to a fine release.
Chinese Carpet Factory is a great introduction to Harlots, a release easy to spend plenty of time with for perpetual enjoyment. This is a band still growing and evolving their sound you sense too, so real potential of big times ahead we suggest.
Chinese Carpet Factory is out on NOV 28th.
Pete RingMaster 27/11/2015
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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