Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Harley Poe - Wretched, Filthy, Ugly.

Well shit. I didn't know Harley Poe released an album last year...I'm so fucking out of the loop when it comes to shit I care about but forgot I cared about. Their last album "In The Dark" was fucking incredible! The songs didn't vary much musically, but lyrically ranged from horror stories about murderers, zombies, and vampires to more modern horror stories about transvestite serial killers and sexually transmitted diseases. It's some seriously infectious folk-horror-punk awesomeness, which started when the band went by the name Calibretto, before settling with Harley Poe just before In The Dark came out. The boys are back, with the addition of keyboard for this release, and more songs about similar subject matter, but with some more energy and some musical improvements. They're older, but probably not a bit more mature...just the way we fucking like it!

The album kicks off with the song "Gordon", which features this new addition of the keyboard which I spoke of in the previous paragraph. This song is about a cannibal named Gordon who grew up to be a cannibal, and I think he also grew up to be portrayed on this album cover? I believe that's probably him up there. Then some mother came up from the ground and blinded Gordon then killed him. You know, the classic story of zombie vs. cannibal. If you're human at all, you're already super excited about the rest of this album just by hearing this song and its lyrical content. If you're getting your hopes up for the rest of the record, then good, because you probably won't get them as high as they need to be, so you won't be let down in the slightest.

Is the singer Joe Whiteford southern? I'm not sure whether he puts on the accent intentionally or if it's just his accent...I wish he was easier to research. The backup vocals for the second song "Kokomo" are better than they've ever been for Harley Poe, followed by an awesome "la la la la la la" part which reminds me a lot of ska with that organ behind it...with the only thing it's missing being upstrokes. Then the next song is about the end of the world, and how it's about time. And of course the part where he goes "It's the end of the world" sounds just like the vocal melody for that REM song. What's awesome about this album compared to In The Dark is that these songs vary so much more than the ones on that album did, and I love it. The organ also adds a lot, dude.

There's a song about blowjobs called "Sucker" out of nowhere. Oh wait, it turns into a song about a girl who is a vampire, and ends up being all vampired up by this chick who was blowing him, and he becomes a sucker too. This song reminds me of the movie 2001 Maniacs where this girl is about to go down on this guy, then her teeth all turn into like shark-teeth-rows of nails, and she just eats his whole pelvic region...that was fucking terrifying. I also will never watch the movie Teeth. I've been traumatized enough as it is.

"That Time of the Month" is a song about a guy's girlfriend being a werewolf once a month, rather than enter "shark week". This song has a western feel to it through and through. The instrumentals and the backup vocals compliment this perfectly, and I love it. Following this is an untitled song, which has the same western feel to it, but mixed in with kind of a cabaret feel...along with clips from some movie I've never seen.

Then the song "Maria" comes on, and is all like, "fuck you, it's bluegrass time!" And the dude abides. This song is clearly about the movie Exorcist happening to this guy's wife, I suppose. I mean, he calls her his honey after she masturbates with the crucifix and everything (you know, things chicks usually get into in like 10th grade). The last song "Stick it to the Man" makes me think of  the song "Transvestites Can Be Cannibals Too" from In The Dark at first, but then it surprises you and becomes about starting a punk band instead. I totally agree with this, because I started a punk band at least once a week since 7th grade...it's just only worked out a couple times. Wait, when the hell did this song become about monsters? Everyone of these songs is some sort of monster metaphor or morality play which can be related to your life...or it's just about monsters and vampires and you can enjoy on those merits alone. Fucker. I'm sorry, I didn't mean it.

You can check this album out over at their bandcamp page and stream it for free, and you can purchase it over at Chain Smoking Records. Do whatever you want. Up the punx.


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