Posthumous as my approval was, I applauded Minneapolis' Harlows last year for a 1996 cassette release, that tuned out to be a better-late-than-never delight. Dare I say this 1995 "prequel" was even more gratifying? Truth is, I can't make an apples to apples comparison when this incarnation of the Harlows was only a trio, as opposed to the future quartet commandeered by chanteuse Rachel. Without her in the picture, the "1995" Harlows sounded like an entirely different beast, with Charlton Metcalf leading the charge in a notably more "mid-fi" context. On most occasions here, the Harlows propulsive indie rock rubs elbows with one post-punk variant or another, and coincidentally or not they seem to be the following the same trajectory as one of their obscuro contemporaries, Boston's Flying Nuns. Both the Nuns and Harlows siphon off plenty of inspiration from Mission of Burma, bearing no shortage of clangy guitar lines and lovingly meager harmonies, albeit in the case of Metcalf and Co. there's a significant pop angle that MOB only hinted at. I realize the brunt of you reading this are apt to pass up on a mere "tape" of a totally unknown quantity, but this is genuinely inspired stuff and worth your while.
BTW, in addition to the two tapes I'm featuring on W/O, the band minted two more cassette albums during their Clinton-era tenure, all four of which were compiled onto a two CD set that I eventually hope to get my hands on.
01. Catch a Wave
03. 4 Leaf Clover
04. Cowards Sunday Drive
08. For Rent
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