Originally written by Ryan Plunkett
It’s not often you come across a label that has its debut release with this much power. Harlots’ debut album, The Woman You Saw is the Great City that Rules Over the Kings of the Earth (try saying that 10 times fast) is the first release off of Feeling Faint Productions. Harlots makes their stab at their ever growing spaz-core genre whose home to the likes of big namers like Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Between the Buried and Me, and Discordance Axis just to name a few. In a genre that’s beginning to give birth to many clones, Harlots prefer to take a step back from the rest and set themselves apart. Combining a mix of grind, death, a few core elements, and what can only really be described as spacey jam music, Harlots manages to grab the listener by the balls and slap him right in the face, while then proceeding to sit them nicely back in their chair and let their mind run free.
The album begins with an epic intro through electronics only to slip straight into the chaos with the beginning of the next track, “Babylon the Great.” They beat down the door with a sludgy grinding beat only to shift into madness with earpiercing electronics, guitar shredding and spastic drumming. This is what this band is all about, keeping you on your toes. You just never can guess what’s coming next and it manages to keep hold of you the entire ride. After proceeding to annihilate you with metal, Harlots once again slips into a trippy ride through space. Eric Dunn’s guitar riffs will go spazzy on you with technicality, but they also lay on harsh brutal metal breakdowns, and toss in a bit of sludge and groove to add to the overall mix. Jeff Johrber (ex-Dead to Fall) does a solid job with the drumming as well and displays the skills of a schooled musician. The vocals are a go from mid-range screams to the more brutal side of things as well.
Epic in nature and powerful in presentation, Harlots is a subliminal mindfuck force-feeding chaos into the mouth of brutality, while transcending into a somber wasteland. If you’re a fan of any of the bands above you will definitely dig this, or if you’re looking for possibly one of the top releases of the year (in my eyes at least), do yourself a favor and check this band out. There’s a lot to offer so this will be spinning in your disc player for quite awhile.