17 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

From Free Drugs to Hippies, the Austin band Harlem seems to be working on a theme. (How about Sexual Revolution for album number three?) This charming trio kicks up a ruckus with a retro feel, but it’s more ‘60s basement party than garage-fest. There’s a lo-fi, lo-tech vibe here, but the band eschews the current trend of oversaturated reverb and high noise levels for something more akin to an earnest, D.I.Y, vintage pop-loving aesthetic. A variety of flavors permeate Hippies: “Torture Me” has a Ramones-on-Top of the Pops vibe; “Pissed” and “Spray Paint” are direct descendants of garage punk; the wistful pop of “Someday Soon” yearns to be played on a transistor radio; “Stripper Sunset” is an undulant, howling guitar grind. Most tracks, like “Be Your Baby” and “Gay Human Bones,” find the band in a shambling, jangly groove that brings to mind 7” singles, summer barbecues and polyester, not to mention serious dance moves. Harlem has a little edge, but it’s just enough to cut the cake into nice, bite-sized pieces.

EDITORS’ NOTES

From Free Drugs to Hippies, the Austin band Harlem seems to be working on a theme. (How about Sexual Revolution for album number three?) This charming trio kicks up a ruckus with a retro feel, but it’s more ‘60s basement party than garage-fest. There’s a lo-fi, lo-tech vibe here, but the band eschews the current trend of oversaturated reverb and high noise levels for something more akin to an earnest, D.I.Y, vintage pop-loving aesthetic. A variety of flavors permeate Hippies: “Torture Me” has a Ramones-on-Top of the Pops vibe; “Pissed” and “Spray Paint” are direct descendants of garage punk; the wistful pop of “Someday Soon” yearns to be played on a transistor radio; “Stripper Sunset” is an undulant, howling guitar grind. Most tracks, like “Be Your Baby” and “Gay Human Bones,” find the band in a shambling, jangly groove that brings to mind 7” singles, summer barbecues and polyester, not to mention serious dance moves. Harlem has a little edge, but it’s just enough to cut the cake into nice, bite-sized pieces.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
81 Ratings

81 Ratings

:-) & :-( ,

I

If Dave Auerbach and Patrick Carney grew up in California instead of Ohio and were devout surfers (surf board-addicts riding the waves), this is how the Black Keys would sound like. With an indie-garagey-punk sound and styles of the Beatles, Beach Boys and 60's music scene for nostolgia. Plus the price is not bad for $9.99 with seventeen songs, can't beat that. Great for listening and cruising.

weknollbills ,

Hippies (I would give it 4 1/2 stars if I could!!)

No matter how badly you want this band to stay under the radar, it's inevitable Harlem will be big within the indie music scene. Their retro-pop tunes mixed with a little bit of lo-fi is so friggen catchy that I'm shocked they're not as popular as bands like Let's Wrestle or The Soft Pack who, let's be honest, are not nearly as talented as the men behind Harlem. Without a doubt, this will be one of my go-to albums for the summer.

msmalls420 ,

awesome!

this album is amazing! there really isnt not one bad song on it.

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