HARMACY – Here To Here CD-R
Here To Here CD-R
Without much ado, I would like to point out that Ipoh’s Harmacy (at least in its current incarnation) sounds like a bunch boys who grew up with nothing else but Dinosaur Jr in their musical diet; especially the latterday version of the trio. However, if the old Dino Jr. had “the other songwriter” Lou Barlow to sometimes come in and even things out with a bit of variety, Harmacy concentrates on the J. Mascis part of the equation. This singular and unwavering obsession makes Harmacy the one and only Malaysian altar of worship to the man who responsible in introducing the once spat-upon lengthy guitar solos to indie-rock.
I loved Dino Jr. and all the post-Dino projects and I have several CDs (and the rare SST debut LP too) which I would return to time to time but do i really want to hear a bunch of kids imitating the band? Well, I don’t. Still, Harmacy is made up of four nice kids who are really earnest, spirited and unpretentious in making their music. They are NOT a bunch of kids that would latch on the current trend and promptly jumped off board when there’s no more sparkly swell on the surface and move on to the next “big” thing (look at the recent nu-metal fad for instance). Playing late-80s American indie-rock is NOT trendy, but then again “mimicking” your favourite band is not exactly commendable either.
However, if you don’t mind a spot-on photocopy edition of Dino Jr., Harmacy is very, very good. These guys can play, and they got every nuance down pat. Here To Here gives you all you want, right from the woozy guitar lines, the groggy slacker tempo, Mascis dead-pan crooning style and more. The recording is very good for a dirt cheap project; mid-range lo-fi – not too shabby, I’ll say. The CD-R also comes with full-colour pro-printed sleeves, which is very tastefully done too.
I can’t talk much about the songs though. Don’t get me wrong, they are all top-notch tunes but I just can’t write without mentioning more and more Mascis and then point to that or this Dino Jr. albums. So I would rather not talk about it, instead I’ll point out that I would love to see Harmacy build upon this strong foundation and move away into their own space and style very, very soon.
When Butterfingers started out in the early mid-90s, all I hear then was pure imitation of Nirvana, singer Emmet would even wear the very same mohair striped sweater to imitate Cobain; and boy, I hated it. But then, a few years later they grew up out of that adolescent obsession and moved on to be themselves, playing their own take on things which influenced them. Of course, they would also moved on to the majors and so on, but that’s a different story. We are talking about originality here and a hell lot of local bands really need help in that department; and at this moment in time, Harmacy is ripe for change.
Bodysurf Music, PO Box 585, 30670 Ipoh Perak
harmacyrock@yahoo or harmacyrock@hotmail
Harmacy on MySpace
– reviewed by Joe Kidd (June 05)