HARMS - Aquarium EP - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

HARMS - Aquarium EP

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:7 Release Date:2018-11-30
HARMS - Aquarium
HARMS - Aquarium

Jake Harms, yet another product of the productive Brooklyn scene and a member of a band that goes under the name What Moon Things (no, neither have I), decided to try it alone with Aquarium, a debut six-track EP. Usually, with such debut releases that come up at the pre-Christmas release rush, they tend to get lost among the crowd of big names and big label hopefuls that have better PR machines behind them than their music truly deserves. 

So it is not unusual that not many even bothered to take a listen to Aquarium, which is a shame because for all those who favour their pop/rock to have that shoegaze/dream pop touch with a darker touch, should turn their ear to this one. Particularly if all those Cure and Bark Psychosis albums have a special place on their shelves.

Harms is another musician who is under heavy influence of the New York city life, but his observations on it go beyond the ordinary and a mundane as the whole project and its name come from a poem he wrote before the EP came to life:

“walking around is like/being at the aquarium/observing 6 tons/per square meter/of pressure on the glass/dividing you/and everything else”.

Poetic skills do not necessarily have to be transformed into good music, but HARMS does have a good touch there too. He obviously has the cream of the crop of the original shoegaze stuff on his prominent shelf but manages to skilfully evade any copycat traps. He pushes all six tracks here through an echo chamber as if Phil Spector was released from jail for a few days to come in and produce. He can also skilfully change the tempo, switching from the slow moodiness of the tracks like the opener “Loose” to the more rocking stuff like “My Body Loses Shape”, without losing his way.

It could be early to project HARMS for greater things, but it is certainly a promising start and anybody who reminds me to check where my Bark Psychosis albums are is deserving a thumbs up.

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