Harlem – Hippies

January 01, 1970





Here’s a potential dream bill: recent Matador
signing Harlem playing with Nobunny, rhe
Strange Boys and the Soft Pack. Given that everyone’s individual musical tastes
and knowledge are quite varied, it can be challenging trying to describe a
band’s sound to someone, but hopefully most up-to-date music fans can
triangulate in with those references and divine Harlem’s sound.


The rather unlikely-named combo is a young Austin
band full of piss and vinegar with their fuck-all exuberance and baditude. It’s
music that catches you off guard and keeps you off balance with its exquisite
twists and turns from the norm – simple, basic music with a live-wire running
through it. They’ve certainly got something going on, as they were quickly snatched up by Matador last year not long
after their first, self released album, Free
hit the ground running. Every band’s wet dream, one would suppose. (In the spirit of the earlier record’s title, fans
can download Free Drugs here, gratis:


The trio consists of Michael Coomers and Curtis
O’Mara sharing not only the songwriting and lead vocals, but playing drums
and/or guitars, while Jose Boyer handily renders bass. Hippies‘ 16 tracks are 100% solid songwriting of catchy, poppy,
garage nuggets. “Friendly Ghost,” for example, utilizes familiar Velvet
Underground discordant chord-kachunging and frantic keyboarding, while “Spray
Paint” chugs along with solid surf guitar and a pounding beat. And as long as
we mentioned Nobunny and the Strange Boys: “Be Your Baby” could be from the
former’s songbook and “Cloud Pleaser” from the latter’s. Key in maintaining the
listener’s interest is the mixed bag of guitar styles incorporated – Mersey-beat,
jangle-y, fuzzed-out distortions, surf, etc. Bottom line is that Hippies is Hella fun, making two great
releases under Harlem’s belt.


“Scare You,” “Pissed,” “Friendly Ghost” BARRY ST. VITUS


Leave a Reply