Technicolor Health (Bonus Track Version)
Nearly as soon as the Harlem Shakes began gigging around Brooklyn in 2003 they were saddled with inescapable comparisons to the Strokes and a colossal amount of hype. While anticipation grew and then withered for a full-length that never appeared the band slipped off the cultural radar, releasing a single EP of their early material to little fanfare in 2007 before returning with their first full-length Technicolor Health in the spring of 2009. Thankfully, time away from the glare of the media spotlight seems to have done the band a world of good, and the ensemble featured on Technicolor Health is more assured, mature, and musically adventurous than the winning but decidedly one-dimensional post-punk that sounded for all the world like a less sophisticated variant of the type of fist-pumping dance punk being churned out by the likes of the French Kicks and the Rapture. Surprisingly, Technicolor Health sports a laid-back sometimes country-tinged vibe that is both charming and fully realized, making for a far better album than anyone familiar with the group’s industry-related travails had any right to expect.