We didn’t think we’d like We Are Harlot as much as we do. All that metalcore shouting with (frontman) Danny Worsnop’s old band Asking Alexandria, it was just a bit…well, shouty. Not that ‘shouty’ equals ‘bad’, far from it, but AA’s was the kind of shouty that appealed to a fairly specific (generally younger) crowd. Surely his next project would follow a similar schtick, right?
Wrong. Teamed up with Sebastian Bach’s former guitarist, plus the bassist from Silvertide and the drummer of power metallers Revolution Renaissance, Worsnop has found his classic rock mojo. And guess what? It’s really rather good. Yes, in person the boy is still mad as a box of frogs, but some degree of growing up seems to have taken place in the last couple of years – as the soulful, gravelly ‘adult rocker’ vocals here suggest. Some of his old growly edge remains, but rather than dominate it simply spices up certain power chord-chomping numbers.
Collectively We Are Harlot draw from an extremely sound pool of classic rock royalty; enamoured, as they are, with the likes of Van Halen, Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, Pantera and Kiss. Saying this, while evidently inspired by such big fish, We Are Harlot is not a mindless retro rip-off. You can hear, for the most part (chiefly in the melodies) that this was definitely made in 2015, not 1975. Dancing On Nails opens with driving, melodic joie de vivre and a subtle electronic layer, alongside all the rock. Dirty Little Thing barely leaves breath-drawing space, before bounding forward like a hyperactive hard rock child (of the adorable kind, not the ‘I-want-to-KILL-you’ kind). Successfully pensive tones are struck in the likes of Someday, and then we get to One More Night. One More Night is frickin’ great. Honestly, I’m on replay number one hundred-and-something, and it’s still making me want to get up and groove around the Classic Rock office. Funky verse strumming and cool harmonies in The One keep the groove going, and Love For The Night adds to their roster of simple yet effective power rock’n’roll riffs.
Things wrap up with the completely different I Tried – to all intents and purposes it’s their I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing, their Bon Jovi lighter-swayer, and it’s genuinely very lovely. If We Are Harlot can build on tunes like this, they could sustain serious kudos among rock fans of all ages.