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Album Review: TBA

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Album Review: Harpoon - Deception Amongst Birds

Chicago's Harpoon are restless devils. Consisting of band members from Lair Of The Minotaur (bassist D.J. Barraca), 7000 Dying Rats (vocalist Toney Vast-Binder) and Gun Kata (guitarist Dean Costello) this trio of grinders are on the move, heading into new realms that see them criss-crossing genres and patterns. Deception Amongst Birds is as dense as it is loose, aggressive as it is laconic. In short, with the help of Andy Nelson's (Weekend Nachos) tight production and Carl Saff's (Coliseum) corrupted mastering, they have produced a barnstorming headfuck of an album.

By switching up from speeding, barbed and gritty hardcore to sludge-packed doom in one swift jump, opener "To The Tall Tales" gives us a taste of what it must be like to suffer a heart attack. The defibrillator hit of "Prequel To A Lifetime Of Disappointment" brings us back from the dead, piling slabs of bass on top of piston-like drums. The thing that needles though is exactly this drum thunder. It overwhelms the music, swamping you rather than allowing you space to breathe. It's a kink that Harpoon find themselves falling back on when they see no other place to run to.

The band have clearly overdosed on feedback (the title-track is sick with it) and the tracks do tend to drag once they've flashed their feathers but there are moments when all is forgiven. The cleans of "Dreadnought" invigorate as do the grandiose cosmic touches that pop up here and there only to be beaten back down by the baying vocal of Tony Vast-Binder. The magnificent stoner plod of "Phlegm" thuds into you before pitching itself forward into the hallowed riff that clambers over the half-whispered Torche-esque "Troglodyte's Delight". Their hammering rock-a-thon "Shit Wizard" certainly shows off a willingness to switch things up, laying a foot on the neck of Whitesnare's punk n' roll licks by conjuring up some Every Time I Die-ish 'core.

Having been steeped in the chaos of Converge and laced with the malevolence of Nails, they have clearly had Kylesa's deep grooves carved into them, it's true that Harpoon certainly send plenty of spears flying and hit home with most. They may just be a small fish swimming in big waters, but they're making an awful mighty splash. Time to take notice.

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