Upon listening to the new EP by Swindon’s own British Harlem, we’re treated to a mix of everything from Brit Pop to punk, R&B to Indie.
One of the first things I usually listen for in a band is musical diversity. Seems everybody has maybe one trick up their sleeves, but what else ya got?
The lead track “Ride” opens with a subdued keyboard/guitar riff, but it’s when the chorus kicks in with “They’ll know your name! They’ll know your name! I’m sure of it, oh yeah I’m sure of it!” that you get the feeling that this could easily be sung by 50,000 punters at a Football stadium.
Their influences include everything from The Strokes, The Jam and The Beatles on the English side, to Motown and American soul music. Their track “Friends” kicks it up a bit with a bit of a Green Day thing to it, and “Together” has another stick-in-your-head, call and response type chorus that makes audience participation required.
They told me they thought that a lot of mainstream music lacks “balls and conviction” right now, and with this EP they’re out to set that right. Although the tracks sound great, I get the feeling British Harlem are a band best served live, and you will have just such a chance to catch them headline at Basement73 in Swindon on April 6.
All words by Jay Rawley. Find more by Jay on Louder Than War.