Artist Close-Ups · Reviews

Album Review/ Artist Close-Up: Harsh Crowd Prove To Be A “Better” Pack

Punk Rock/ Harsh Pop! Not only does that statement deliciously rhyme, but it sounds really tasty when you listen to Harsh Crowd’s Better EP. Opening for Julie Ruin at Irving Plaza on November 10, Harsh Crowd have been garnering indie-rock acclaim from the New York Times since they were 14. I like to think that I was a pretty awesome teenager, but I did not have the New York Times writing about both my talent and potential greatness. Thus, these seasoned music vets show that with age they only get Better. 

Harsh Crowd’s Better EP is not just another youthful, angst record. This quartet is too intelligent and nuanced in their talent to just serve another platter of punk-pop rage. Instead, they use tense-punk instrumentals to exude the layers of innocence within inner turmoil. I know that must sound like a contrasting idea, but whom has not had a moment of sheer, terrible panic only to realize that their fear and stress came from a sense of disappointed love.  When our valiant, vulnerable efforts to share ourselves with others is rejected it can begin an internal path of rage and anxiety, especially in terms of how we see potential lovers. It is in this sense that Harsh Crowd’s lyrics carry a sweetness/ innocence that are key to reminding you that hate, by its very definition, is only defined as a lack of love. 
From the love woes of “Long Shot” and “Degrees”, Better is a five track look into how hate and anger are just the hopeless counters to love and bliss. Lead Singer Willow’s voice carries a wrathful rasp that elaborates the lyrical layers of relationships’ disillusionment. She is an explosive, evocative front-woman whose vocals could match the legendary anarchy of the frontmen for The Clash, Sex Pistols, and Led Zeppelin.  Everyone knows I love women that exude strength, and Willow is is like a musical, feminist icon comparable to Joan Jett or Janis Joplin. She is, definitely, someone to love look to a current generation of women eager to express and be empowered in their strength. Although rage is not necessarily strength, Willow shows that being able claim your dissent and right to disagree is powerful. Moreover, she is backed by young whom show that musical instruments are not simple tools for sound, but symbols of one’s intellect. 

Harsh Crowd is a quartet that shows women are fiercely talented and ready to voice their disillusionment how they are treated in love. Moreover, each young woman shows that there is a female essence that is particular to each woman and manifest differently through their instruments. Dea is the guitarist whom creates dramatic, pulsing backdrops clearly inspired by Broadway.Through her, Harsh Crowd reveals the theatricality of love. Meanwhile, Rihana, the band’s bassist/keyboardist, creates melodies that combust with love’s spontaneity. A current student of violin, this young woman knows how to make a string bleed and cry every sound of heartbreak and exhilaration that love gives. Lastly, there is Lena, whose drumming adds a funky foundation/ dance flare to Harsh Crowd’s song odes to love. Altogether, including Willow, these women feel like an unstoppable, breath of oxygen within the punk- pop scene. For More Information On Harsh Crowd, To Buy Better, and to go see their electrifying performance at Irving Plaza  on November 10 Click Here