It’s day five of no air conditioning and, although it’s still warm in my house, I feel like I have the fans placed just right to make it a little more bearable in here. That being said, I still need a distraction. I need to be distracted from the heat, distracted from what’s going on in Minneapolis with all of the tragedy and distracted by all of the other work I should be doing but feel just a bit too overwhelmed to do. You know where this is going– it’s time to check out some new music starting with Harker’s new album, ‘Axiom’.
“The Beast Must Die” kicks this album off with an almost creepy vibe. Hushed words are presented over fuzz before the band jumps in with a familiar and nostalgic sound. As soon as the vocals came in, I was in love. They have a very punk edge to them bringing names like Boysetsfire to the front of mind. Although there’s a sense of nostalgia attached to this opening track, there’s also something fresh about it that made me so excited to see what else this band has in store for me through this ten-song album.
There’s an undeniable sense of power that comes with the first few seconds of “Sigh of Crows” before the band jumps into a sound that is much more pop-punk than I was expecting. Although surprisingly, it was seriously perfect and this was instantly a favorite track of mine. Sure, the vocals lose a little bit of the punk edge heard during “The Beast Must Die” but the instrumentation keeps this track from feeling too soft. “Adulthood” continues with this more pop-punk vibe but in a completely different style. Almost a little Saves the Day vocally, I loved how the vocals felt sensitive and soft while the instrumentation continued to pound away. An anthemic chorus is just the icing on the cake to this amazing track.
“Hellion” takes the sound back to that more punk vibe of “The Beast Must Die” and I loved it. Although there are still elements of pop-punk heard throughout this track, there’s just a little bit more of an edge to it and a little more aggression attached to every word. This is one of those songs that I instantly started imagining seeing this band live during. There’s just something so powerful and so perfect about the recording quality that I know it’s something I just have to see live. I was so lost in this make-believe concert but was quickly snapped back to reality as the album moved onto “The Grey Lady”. This track is the slowest and most tender one yet but don’t mistake that statement to mean this track lacked energy. Still, with driving drums and powerful guitars, this track just brings a sense of emotion that I wanted to see from this band. This is one of the longer tracks on the album which makes sense. It really showcases a side of this band that is absolutely beautiful.
There’s a movement to this album as a whole that I love. Sure, “The Grey Lady” was slow and tender but the band is quick to go back to that punk sound that they do so well with “Moriah”. This feels like the heaviest track so far on this album so I truly loved how it added a sense of movement in this album. The vocals become a little more shouted and the instrumentation a little bit more frantic. I was so busy trying to catch it all and find the right words that I was a bit bummed as the album quickly moved onto “Flex Yr Head” but it didn’t take long for me to settle back into that more Saves the Day based pop-punk sound that comes back in full force for this track. I really can not stress how many influences I hear throughout this album and although I’m only naming a few bands here and there (as to not overwhelm you), I really hope you listen to this and see who it reminds you of!
“Daisychain” goes back to the more tender nature of “The Grey Lady” which, again, just adds this undeniable and amazing sense of motion to this album. There’s almost a little 90s influence that I get from this track that I love. Screaming guitars slide underneath the steady drumbeat and the beautiful vocals creating an almost warmth to this track. Although I wish this track just had a little more energy to it, I get its place within this album and that made it a great track with perfect placement.
If you want pop-punk perfection, check out “No Sun”. As soon as this track started, I knew it was going to be another favorite of mine on this album. It’s just so bright and sunny pop-punk perfection. From the vocals to the powerful drums and little guitar ditties spread throughout this track, I was just so lost in my happy place during this track that I never wanted it to end. Unfortunately, all things must come to an end and this amazing album ends with “Antenna”. This final track is epic and powerful and is the perfect ending to this perfect album. There’s a little surprise after the powerful and in-your-face energy of “Antenna” which is absolutely stunning but I’m not going to give it away. I guess you’ll just have to check out this album (and be sure to listen to the bitter end)!
My Favorite Track(s): “Sigh of Crows”; “No Sun”
For Fans Of: Pop-Punk Perfection; Power; Nostalgia Meets Modern
Mosh-ability: 8 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Both cats laid on the wood floor behind me and right in front of a fan
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 10 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 10 out of 10
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