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Harvey Milk - A Small Turn of Human Kindness CD (album) cover


Harvey Milk


Experimental/Post Metal

3.50 | 4 ratings

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Retired Admin
3 stars The sound of doom in slow-motion

I hit my head here the other day. I was fixing to go to bed, and just as I had laid down and put my mind at ease, the family cat Speedy starts yelping outside the house. She is a small cat, and with the amount of big karate felines we've got lurking around in our neighbourhood, we don't have the balls to let her spend the night outside. Mostly because she's got the balls - never shying away from a good fight. Anyways, I open the door to our driveway, and SCREEEEEEECH she goes hammering her claws into my bare feet, with yours truly getting the fright of my life - loosing my balance and tumbling down the brick-lain entrance head first.......... Still got a bump in the back of my head, and I keep tasting metal for some reason.

This album, whilst not the best from the band, has continued to evolve during my recent anti ballet stint. For example: I needed to work out this afternoon - feel my body work and sweat profusely, just to get that feel of 'sick' and headache off my shoulders and out of my wobbly vessel, and off I went on my stationary fitness bicycle going nowhere fast.

The overwhelming raw power of this release then proceeded to take its effect on me. The slow crunching guitar riffing that feels like metallic waves of sound crashing over you - to the deep bellowing vocals, this album is anything but meek and whimsical. Instead it comes off like a huge gulp of sweat, blood and hairy iron stashed together in some towering musical wall that encloses you in a small paranoia inducing cell.

10 minutes before the automatic on-board computer tells me that it's ok to stop, I feel a sudden rush of fatigue and nausea - my heart races and cold sweat springs out of my forehead like small icy darts. I can't do this anymore, I tell myself and literally throw my increasingly large corpus off the bike - lying down on the cold dirty floor. I stay there for the remaining time of this album, and all of it's natural heaviness - the incessant riffing and big booming drums sweep right through me like a wild uncontrollable storm. I am helpless and yet oddly comfortable with this scenario, and my head feels better for some reason, I just need to keep still and finish the album, keep down big boy.

Now, from approaching this album like I would any other metal release these days, that is with some trepidation and lack-lust, it has now transformed into something of a mental voyage - I'll even venture as far as to say spiritual. The stark black themes here, revolving around the endless lack of humanity in the humans we meet on a daily basis, have already been covered brilliantly in the band's gritty teutonic past, and yet somehow this album still feels strong and cohesive without ever coming off as a carbon copy of themselves.

Their sound is one of doom gloom and slow-motion funeral corteges - like a huge metallic raven flapping its wings in ultra slow bursts. If you can imagine a solo-less Slayer being run at the wrong speed - ever so apathetic and crawling, then you're pretty close to the teutonic sludgy doom of Harvey Milk.

One thing I feel can get a wee bit bizarre is the fact that Harvey Milk originally was a hugely inspirational politician in San Francisco. The first openly gay person to be elected into the mayor's castle no less. And whilst I am aware of the odd fist-fighting, jawbreaking, tobacco chewing big lump of manly gay person, more than often you'll associate these men with jazz-hands, the limp wrists and ABBA - and those trades are just about as far away from this band as you can possible get. I actually got one of my old friends to listen to Harvey Milk, and seeing as he has a natural affinity for the same sex, I thought it interesting to hear what his thoughts were.

As it turns out these thoughts of his were actually very close to mine, and while we both were able to see the fun factor of this conundrum, he told me that it was nice to hear somebody out there spreading some light on this wonderfully inspirational figure without ever coming off as something taken out of a Broadway show. I tend to agree with him. Real human power and strength is something you can't lock up in stereotypes. 3.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |


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