(8/10) After six year break Harem Scarem is back with new album. After the latest studio album "Hope" was released the band disbanded and the group members focussed on other projects. It was in 2013 when the first sign of life showed-up. It was the re-recording of the band's most important album "Mood swing". Harem Scarem called it "Mood swing II" and it seems that Harry Hess and his mates have created an appetite for more. The following tour made this new found appetite even bigger. The result is a new longplayer called "Thirteen" and is now available at your record dealer.
The Toronto-based four piece has recorded ten new track for the album. All of them are good hardrock songs that are well crafted. Harry Hess and his guys have still an outstanding sense for big melodies combined with the rocking guitar sound of Pete Lespereance.
I had the feeling that the tunes are bit more classic hardrock based while the ones on "Hope" had a more downtuned guitar sound with an alternative rock touch. However, songs like "Live it" with a little bit of a southern rock touch as well as the smooth grooving "The midnight hours" are pretty cool songs. Talking about groove means also to mention "Troubled times" - a track with a warm guitar sound and an irresistable melody. It is one of the tunes that scratches even a bit on the AOR door.
The only thing that is a bit of a pity is the short running time of the record. Not even 40 minutes is on the one hand typical for the Canadian band, put is actually too little. Especially since the music is very good.
To sum up: "Thirteen became a typical Harem Scarem record and fans of the band will love it. It is the combination of a rocking guitar and big melodies that makes the band standing out. And everything on a high standard without fading away into cliche and platitude. Welcome back guys.
- Garden of Eden
- Live it
- Early warning signs
- The midnight hours
- Whatever it takes
- Saints and sinners
- All I need
- Troubled times
- Never say never
Label: Frontiers Records