Sunday, August 21, 2011
Harlem Shakes Checks It's Technicolor Health
Named after the bandmembers favorite dance move, Harlem Shakes is the latest and greatest band to fly out of the fertile hotbed of indie that is Brooklyn. I know it's hard to believe but with so many bands breaking out of the area, Brooklyn is once again becoming the center of the musical universe. I'm not sure what it is they put in the water, but Harlem Shakes must have been drinking it by the gallon up there because they're a brilliant band and their debut album, Technicolor Health is a fly out of the gates hit.
Mixing the sound of old New York with new New York, Harlem Shakes sound like a sloppy gooey mess of Strokesian guitars, MGMT worldbeat, and oddly enough Decemberists indie pop. It's a bizarre cocktail of sounds that's meaty beaty big and bouncy and is a jumpy, skittish pop treat that has a hard time sitting still long enough to be pinned down into any one sound or sub-genre. The result of this is an album that's all over the place but is united in it's desire to be stupendously melodic and incredibly catchy. The Shakes do an amazing job of combining their skittish mannerisms into something that has more pop sensibility than Simon Cowell could ever dream of.
Throughout, Technicolor Health odd time signatures, strange sounds, pianos, weird choruses, and a host of other strange things come at you from different directions and collide in your eardrums at the same time. When your brain finishes sorting it all out, it's as if The Shakes have taken you on a sugar rush of epic proportions. Their frivolous and jolly tunes are made out of pure cane sugar that taste so good that repeated servings and cavities are expected.
Harlem Shakes are clearly a band that understands how to construct a melody and how to write a song that will linger with you like your in-laws. From the unbelievable chorus stuck in the middle of (SONG #3) to the drum machine beats and bits of horn on (SONG #5) Technicolor Health is a non-stop party of harmonic goodness. They layer all that goodness in there and spread the melodies thick making a deliciously delightful concoction that's so simple but oh so effective that the phrase resistance is futile seems only appropriate.
Yeah, Harlem Shakes are from Brooklyn but with songs as good as the ones that are on Technicolor Health who cares. This is a band that pretty much is the definition of what indie rock is all about in 2009; their fun, their melodic, their in tune to the musical world around them, and they have tunes by the tons. In other words, Harlem Shakes are one of the best new bands around this year and you should do yourself a favor and find Technicolor Health . Oh, and they're playing the Harvest of Hope festival March 8th in St. Augustine, if you're going be sure and check them out.