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Harvey Milk - The Pleaser CD (album) cover


Harvey Milk


Experimental/Post Metal

3.09 | 3 ratings

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3 stars This consistently intriguing Athens avant-sludge band made its early name on punishingly slow, earth-shaking low-end guitar noise. The power trio lineup of guitar/bass/drums approaches their music as a chamber quartet might, with no instrument really acting as "backup" to any of the others -- each part seems to be deliberately thought out to deliver the punishing noise in the most artful manner possible. This approach reached its zenith on their masterpiece, "Courtesy and Good Will Towards Men". And then, having released one of the most difficult albums in history, they decided it would be fun to put out a southern rock boogie album, and then didn't release anything else for almost 7 years.

On the one hand, there's something subversive about hearing a band this creative and talented taking on jock rock anthems like "Rock and Roll Party Tonite" or "US Force". One thing that becomes abundantly clear is that guitarist Creston Spiers could go head to head with just about any hotshot guitarist in the business and "out-rock" them if he wanted to. This is Lynyrd Skynyrd on angel dust with an angry bear at the mic.

But there's more to the story. If this was just a jock rock album, it wouldn't be worth me writing about it right now. There are other songs that rank among their best -- the start/stop impossible time signature riff monster "Shame", the oh-so-wonderful slow blues "Lay My Head Down" (similar in approach to Zep's "Since I've Been Loving You". Try following the chords!), the still-a-bit-weird-like-the-earlier-stuff "Red as the Day is Long", and the undeniably kick-ass opener "Down".

This is NOT progressive rock in any way, but rather an interesting detour for one of the most interesting and undefinable metal bands you'll ever hear.

HolyMoly | 3/5 |


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