Favorite

Harlem: Hippies (Matador) 

Garage rock done right aches for the sort of unbridled enthusiasm at the core of Hippies, the first Matador record from Austin-via-Tucson trio Harlem.

The band's bouncy, melodic garage rock is colored with flecks of soul and surf rock, but it's the fantastic songs that hold Hippies aloft. The record is an absolute powerhouse that opens with nine consecutive tracks that rate great to excellent. It's only once the band lets off the throttle ever so slightly that Hippies takes a small dip.

The band—Michael Coomers, Curtis O'Mara and Jose Boyer—plays with a loose and straightforward combination of guitar, bass and drums. The formula is hardly unique, but it's executed to near perfection.

Hippies is full of love songs and breakup songs, but it's the band's spin on the great tradition of American rock, pop and soul that gives the record its magnetism.

Between opener "Someday Soon" and "Be Your Baby," the band's lyrics swing from flippant mischief to youthful sincerity; Harlem deftly handles both: "Someday soon you'll be on fire / and you'll ask me for a glass of water / I'll say no, you can just let that shit burn / and you'll say please, please, please put me out;" and "I just wanna be your baby / I don't mean maybe."

With a hefty 16 songs in a quick 40 minutes, Hippies could've lost a couple of less-memorable tunes. Small flaws aside, it's an absolute stunner of an album, brimming with confidence and songs that draw you in again and again.

More by Eric Swedlund

  • The Best Things in Life

    Lake Street Dive finds freedom and creative peak on new album
    • Sep 20, 2018
  • Men in Black

    On Goths, the Mountain Goats look back to the music that inspired them as teenage misfits
    • Sep 6, 2018
  • New Vision Drives HOCO Fest

    Growing celebration includes music, comedy, a record fair and so much more
    • Aug 23, 2018
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

21 Great Things to Do in Tucson This Weekend: Dec. 14-16

Laughing Stock: Brewing Ha-Ha

Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Thursday, Dec. 13

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Know Your Product

    Stars Pick Their Top Five! This Week: Sleepspent
    • Nov 29, 2018
  • Nightcrawler

    Late night shows to keep you entertained this week
    • Nov 29, 2018
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation