Three-piece alternative rock band Harsh Language released their EP ‘Live at Signal House’ back at the end of May and shows the band taking a break from new material, illustrating the sonic leaps and bounds their live show has made.
Starting out in late 2020 as the solo Starting out late 2020 as the solo project of Sean Shreeve (Guitar/Vocals/Programming) with Rob Green (Bass/Vocals) and Alec Albury (Drums) completing the line-up in early 2022, Harsh Language takes on the idea of creating an emotive wall of melodic noise. In this three song EP that acts as a kind of brief anthology for the band, the London trio show impressive skills to create a live sound that transcends their mere 66 monthly listenership on Spotify. From how crisp and rehearsed everything is, their sound is more akin to thousands of listeners a month. So, how do they do it?
‘Listen Repeat’ opens the EP and is a first look at the upcoming single, whilst ‘Imperial Bedrooms’ and ‘Melancholia’ present the past and current era. Ferocious drums rattle the brain and set the tempo instantly in emphatic fashion for this three-minute thrash – sliding fuzz-dipped guitars rock up a la ‘Wave of Mutilation’ by Pixies and then all of a sudden. Boom. The tempo switches and the song stops on its heels as a picked riff trickles in with lead singer Sean’s light footed vocal. A deep and brooding riff then takes hold similar to Royal Blood before this restless opener draws to a close.
In the second track, ‘Imperial Bedrooms’, again there’s no time to stop and ponder as 1) the drums pound on and 2) Shreeve’s lyrics pierce a sonic and digital veil to declare Stop your waiting / Time won’t wait for you. Urgency and depth are the watchwords as all elements combine in this live set up flawlessly to ooze attitude – so much personality and emotion shifting ability is present in the guitar, it’s quite brilliant.
‘Melancholia’ puts an onus on the digital, with an electronic programmed ditty. Gothic and foreboding, there’s a striking similarity to Halloween’s theme, yet instead of Michael Myers skulking around stiffly, we get guitars and lyrics intertwined, manoeuvring around yet another stamina driven percussive masterclass.
Giving listeners an insight into their often-praised live shows, ‘Live at Signal House’ is a frenetic display that is likely to have fans and venues on the London alternative circuit putting a new name on their watchlists.
From the band’s press: “Harsh Language pride themselves on subverting the idea of what a modern alternative hard rock band can be, using big riffs, emotive harmonies and hectic electronica to provide a live show that is loud and often impressive.”