Harem is a well oiled AOR hard rock act that performs hard rock gems! Need proof? Look no further than Live At The Phoenix recorded July of 2015 in the bands hometown of Toronto Ontario Canada.
Harry Hess(vocals) Pete Lesperance (guitars and backing vocals) Darren Smith(drums and backing vocals) and Stan Miczek(bass and backing vocals) lay down some serious hard rock law that you the reader’s of Stick In Your Ear should check out!
As per protocol here I preorderd this album on iTunes and as usual they gave me no digital booklet so that’s the way she goes but it’s the music that does the talking and boy does it ever here over 20 songs performed top notch! Congrats to those who did the production as Darren’s drums are mixed perfectly while Pete’s guitar is never overshadowed by the pumped in keyboards on certain tracks. Stan the bass fella plays some real solid 4 string licks while Harry sings for his supper peeps! The guy is a very underated vocalist and along with Pete they write some very well crafted good old hard rock!
Garden Of Eden
Hard To Love
Saviors Never Cry
The Midnight Hours
Slowly Slipping Away
Stranger Than Love
All I Need
Saints And Sinners
Voice Of Reason
Change Comes Around
So since its 20 songs I will pick and choose tracks and toss down some rando thoughts! Ready,Set……
For Shitz N Giggles heres my review earleir of 1993s Classic Harem album Mood Swings.https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/sonic-waves-harem-scaremmood-swings/
Pete,Darrren Harry and Stan deliver the goods sonically…..
So to begin the show Drew Masters (dude who ran M.E.A.T Magazine back in the day) intros Harem to the stage and in a minute and a half he name drops Toronto about 5 times hahaha… The dude is pumped to say the least and wheres Harem Scarem from again?
GARDEN OF EDEN-Being the lead off song and current track from Harems 13 album Garden Of Eden is a straight ahead hard melodic track! This possess all the great things about Hard Rock Harem! Excellent lead vocal! Cracking good drums,solid bass and Pete playing some real slick guitar! Oh and of course the backing vocals! It helps when your drummer (Smith) is a lead vocalist himself and is no slouch behind the mic himself. More on Smith later… I posted the live video from this show for all to see! Watch it….buy it! Simple!
HARD TO LOVE-Cool beans Hary straps on a guitar and doodles some rhythm while Pete of course steers the guitar ship starboard side. Hard To Love is another cool rocker. Think once again like Foreigner doing steroids. Harem though on the musical side of things can flex some serious muscle when duty calls. Hard To Love has a snappy verse,an even snappier chorus and some real great guitar work.
SAVIOURS NEVER CRY-Now we are talking. Harry ditches the guitar and Pete flexs his guitar muscle with some serious cool power chords. His live guitar mix is sick! Crunchy,heavy and while we’re at toss in some wah and that’s in the first minute of this song. Darren and Stan rumble along on the drums and bass respectively to keep the song in check. Saviours is from Mood Swings and this song kicks friggin ass! The opening verse is sooo good with Darren leading the charge with the drums and the chorus is Gold! Big sweeping harmonies ,heavy guitar,thumping bass and man oh man Saviours Never Cry will boot you into next week! This tune is the deal!
DAGGER-As Saviours ends Pete throws down a huge power chord that segues right into Dagger! The drums on this song are rocking good while Harry sings it heavy here folks,not Slayer heavy but hard rock heavy and man the chorus is frigging the deal elements angst,danger, mean,pissed off and that’s Dagger. No fooling around here! Harem has come to kick your asses and as Harry sings about getting “a Dagger thru the heart!” He sings it like he means it! One other thing it’s one of Harem songs that has no backing vocals. It’s all Harry and Harry alone! Dagger is a classic track. Different heavy sound!
MANDY-Is a musical only tune where Stan and Darren provide the back beat and Pete shows of his guitar chops in a bluesy respectful way. Pete does not overplay the songs and turn them into a wank fest! That too me is the sign of a great guitar player. Nice interlude ..
SLOWLY SLIPPING AWAY-Geez I remember this tune from 1991 and I just looked the other way! Too me it was just to Foreigner lite. Fast forward 25 years and its a great song! I think the fact that this live version gives it a bit of an edge certainly helps and the fact that the piped in keys are under the guitar helps heaps!
TROUBLED TIMES-Holy Moly this song is awesome! Troubled Times especially the course is very Journey like with the vocals,lead and backing. Let me clarify that! Journey like if they booted out Jonathan Cain and his piano and left him at a truck stop in Des Moines Iowa! Troubled Times is such a great put together song! Love the guitar during the chorus. The vocals as I said earlier are the money shot!
SENTIMENTAL BOULEVARD- Drum Dude Darren handles the Lead vocals here and this fella is a multi talented cat! Not can he only slam the drums but he’s got a great throwback 70’s rock voice to boot and how many bands out there can you think of that have two guys that are Great Singers? The verse’s during this song are the money shot and come to think of it I seen Darren playing guitar in Helix here in Tbay…see Multi Talented Muso….
HUMAN NATURE-Def Leppard would drool to have written this song. Actually come to think of it add Stranger Than Love to the Lepp want list as well. Human Nature has such a great chorus with a tinge of power chord guitar tossed in. It’s what one would say is a Melodic Hard Rock Track! I would just say it’s Fuckin Brilliant……
CHANGE COMES ROUND & NO JUSTICE round out the album and are both from the Mood Swings album. Both are ramped up Hard Rock Tracks that will get ya pumping with top-notch performances from those all involved. Watch the vid for No Justice…
Check this one out Folk’s….