Harlots
Betrayer

As their album titles have become less wordy, Ohio noisemongers Harlots have become increasingly more experimental in their discordance. Though still steeped in technical, angular and caustic hardcore a la Ion Dissonance,Animosity, Engineer, Architect (and most of the Black Market Activities roster) and their ilk, Harlots have now successfully managed to weave in some moments of effective ambience and post rock, something they hinted at with their previous two albums, but now seem to be fully embracing.

Of course, most of the material is glass-shattering discord (“The Weight Unweighable”, “Building an Empire Towards Destruction”, “Consensus for the Locus of Thoughts”) backed with angry growls, but still the material, while chaotic, retains a certain sense of purpose and intellect. Take for example, “Full Body Contortion”-listen carefully-there’s a very, very slick melody line buried around the 2:00 minute mark.

Then there are the tracks that deliver the bands more progressive side. Being the longer tracks, the experimental stuff is often after a few minutes of the gnarly but succinct chaos as on “Avada Kadevra” or “This Is a Test, No Flesh Should Be Spared” (which by the way features arguably the heaviest few minutes of 2007 in its climax-your speakers have been warned). However, on the eight minute “Dried Up Goliathan” the band dive straight into some clean vocalled drony, shimmering post rock and on 12-minute closer “Suicide Medley” ends the album with 12-minutes of full on Pelican/The Red Sparowes styled instrumentation (last few minutes not withstanding-hidden cover song maybe?).

Harlots are definitely one of the best of the current post hardcore bands, being able to pull of both face ripping yet intelligent discordance and sprawling ambience with aplomb.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
December 28th, 2007

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