It’s late evening and I’m getting sucked into the black hole which is songs on YouTube. “Oh, I haven’t heard that in ages!” And whilst one song gets its time, I see who is saying what on Twitter. TeamRock mention We Are Harlot followed by Halestorm is the perfect juxtaposition. My interested is piqued. I type the name into YouTube, click on the first video, a song called “Dancing on Nails”. Okay, TeamRock weren’t lying. Where can I get more of this? Album due at the end of March. Well, that sucks.
That was about a month ago. Since then, I’ve heard another two songs from this band and even before I hit play on the debut album, I have a gut instinct this album is going to be awesome. We Are Harlot’s eponymous debut has been a long time coming and since Danny Worsnop announced his departure from Asking Alexandria, this has become his full-time band. A bit of a departure but for me, a welcome departure.
If you like Airbourne and Motley Crue mixed with the hunger of Heaven’s Basement and Appetite-era Guns N’ Roses, then this is an album you’ll want. It’s so refreshing to have a band come along, refusing to conform to get a young crowd and certain publications to recognise their existence. This is an album, a band which appeals to rock fans of all ages. I imagine the band will have their fair share of Asking Alexandria fans to hear what Worsnop is doing now but provided you like your rock hard, fast and raw, you’ll enjoy this.
It’s not all massive riffs and aggressive songs which make you want to wreck your surroundings. We Are Harlot can handle ballads too with “Someday” and album closer “I Tried”. The former has an air of vulnerability to it; yearning for the past. With the lead singles being straightforward, call to arms rockers, I expected the entire album to be like that with the same quality. However, the band is just as good at ballads as they are at balls-out rock anthems, breaking up the pace a little. And that’s what they are; some of these songs are going to stand the test of time very well. As mentioned, closing the album is the stripped back “I Tried”. Very much an acoustic affair, full of hurt and regret; a brilliant way to finish a high-octane album.
Lyrically, as Danny Worsnop as attested to, the album is mainly about sex. The different feelings we have in relationships and all the extra add-ons that no-one tells you about when you start a new romantic (or sexual) endeavour. I’m not going into the how, where and what, mainly because if you’re older than 14, you’ll have a fair idea what the lyrics mean.
Musically, I can’t speak highly enough. Bass from Brian Weaver hums and throbs throughout on tracks like “Flying Too Close to the Sun” and the afore-mentioned “Someday”. Most songs do grab you by the throat and pin you against the wall with their aggression. For the most part, Worsnop relies on clean, melodic vocals though he does stray into hardcore growls at points. Bulking out the track and bringing something new to the table, it keeps the listener’s attentions as they generally ambush you from thin air. There’s something about Worsnop’s voice that I can’t pin down. Without seeing his live performances, his vocals are enough to draw me in, there’s a sense of charisma from his voice alone.
As for guitars (Jeff George); they crunch, wail, screech, shred and still have time for the sombre moments. It pins down the 80s sound the band are aiming for with some riffs Motley Crue deserve to have in their arsenal. These guys should have opened for Halestorm, not Nothing More.
From the outset, I had high hopes for We Are Harlot. They were well-founded. I can’t speak highly enough of this album. It’s only Mid-March and we may already have an album of the year contender. This is the rock album from a new band I’ve been clamouring for a long time. Whilst Royal Blood almost became an overnight sensation due to something fresh, I hope We Are Harlot have similar success. This is a band who knows their craft with a big sound inspired by those legendary bands who, in ten years time, may still be alive but performing and new music will be unlikely. This is rock as it should sound. Let’s welcome the new blood to the table and hope more follow in their wake.