Sweaters & Pearls (2014)
One of the interesting things about doing this website is the occasional record that someone sends me to review. I don't get many, but recently there's been a bit of an uptick in the amount I've been receiving. Sure they typically range from 'just OK' to pretty awful, but every so often I'll get one that hits just the right spot with me. I'm so picky when it comes to music and I really can't put my finger on what makes me dislike one band and like another at times. What I can tell you is that I like Harpoon Forever.
The description that came with this record references the Silver Jews first 7" as well as Palace Music. I think those are good touchstones for what you can expect from Harpoon Forever. They're mining that rich artery of 90's bedroom indie rock. They're not necessarily lo fi and they're probably a bit more straightforward than that first Silver Jews 7" (which incidentally, was always my favorite Silver Jews record), but there's some really solid mid tempo, hooky indie rock on this four song 7".
The highlight of the record for me is the 3rd song "Chickens." Over lightly distorted guitar and gently pattered drums, the vocals just lazily take you through the song. Then after the first verse, everything drops out but the guitar. Slowly the drums and bass come back in and that leads into some supremely 90's fuzzed out Sebedoh quality guitar shredding that closes out the song. Just tremendous. It's short and sweet and the best thing on this record.
All 4 songs are strong on American Flag. I hadn't been familiar with the band before getting this 7" sent to me. I'm not sure I would have picked this up on my own, but I'm very glad to have this in the collection.
Harpoon Forever - American Flag 7":