Harebrain – Harebrain

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Harebrain is the perfect example of how much fun a punk band can be. Undeniably fuzzy, hard-hitting and catchy, the Chicago band takes musical cues from a variety of other genres, including shoegaze, to form their seamlessly meshed, gritty sound. The self-titled EP goes by quickly with only four songs, but each one brings a lot to the table, contributing to a great listen.

“Block the Sun” is the first track on the EP; from the first drum hits and bass slide, Harebrain comes in full force. Distorted bass and guitars rule the sound under the equally talented and high-paced drumming. The vocals on this track show one of strongest recurring parts of the band too, multiple members providing vocals. Each voice is quite different the each other and when combined it creates a compelling contrast that helps to represent the shifts from one part of a song to another. It would have been nice if the vocals were just a bit louder, it only to be able to make out more of the lyrics, but after repeated listens you make them out on your own anyways.

“Turnt N’ Burnt” comes in next, and it is probably the most likely to get stuck in your head out of the bunch. The slowed down second-half on this song is one of brightest moments of the release, with the powerful lyrics “I know how to feel good. I’ll sing outside for no reason why” being sung over a jam you’ll be sure to bob your head to. “Wheel It” and and “Sweat Your Dreams” close out the EP, and the instrumentation on “Wheel It” is a stand out on the release. The verses are a bit slower than the other tracks which allow for a bit more experimentation, leading into a satisfying build-up during the end of the song.  “Sweat Your Dreams” is a powerful closer, with the band going all-out for the entire one minute and twenty seven seconds. And through all of that, they still managed to get a cow bell in there for a few seconds too.

Harebrain always keeps the listeners attention throughout the entire EP, using these four songs to showcase how flexible and unique their sound is. With their drummer John recently moving to Texas, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Harebrain. Hopefully it includes more releases like this one.

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