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Harvey Milk - My Love is Higher Than Your Assessment of What My Love Could Be CD (album) cover


Harvey Milk


Experimental/Post Metal

3.96 | 5 ratings

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4 stars This is a strange one. Even people who know what Harvey Milk are about will probably say "huh"? upon first hearing this album. It walks a tightrope of sorts between Melvins-like sludge metal and, well, chamber-prog. Lots of open spaces, purposeful dissonance and distant roars and howls. the opening track is almost inaudible for the first half or so, and even then it's really mostly drums you hear. In fact, the drums almost function as a lead instrument in conjunction with the bass and guitar. All three are playing gnarled, unusual patterns in a VERY slow tempo, locking together in a way that's not always apparent at first.

The relatively short tracks "Merlin is Magic" and "Women Dig It" are the closest they come to showing their "rockist" tendencies, which would become more pronounced in later years (and were more pronounced in earlier pre-debut album years, though not here), if only because they display the most accessible grooves here, though they're still pretty abstract to the untrained ear. By contrast, "F.S.T.P." and "My Father's Life's Work", both hovering around the 10 minute mark, are slow, tortuous crawls through mortal anguish; the remarkable thing is that they still manage to impart a sense of humor in there, hard though it may be to explain without further research. Even more impenetrable is the odd sludge/classical fusion of "The Anvil Will Fall", with an orchestral middle section (no guitars or drums) playing and excerpt of Gustav Holst's Jupiter (from "The Planets"). Very strange sounding, and grimly poignant. The finale, "All the Live Long Day", is possibly the most primal thing here, with a sledgehammer striking an anvil repeatedly, forming part of the rhythm track, in between tortured howls.

Overall, I have to applaud this sort of album. Any album that keeps me guessing not just what will come next, but what the band's overall strategy is, certainly has my interest and attention. And knowing what I now know about the band and their catalog as a whole, it's all coming together and making sense, kind of.

HolyMoly | 4/5 |


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