Born from the ashes of underground Welsh sludge/rock heroes Taint, and taking their taut, reckless momentum to new heights of paranoia and gut-punching glory, Hark are due to return from purgatory with the follow-up to 2014’s debut album, Crystalline. It’s fair to say that the general state of the world hasn’t soothed them in the interim.
Released on on February 24 via Season Of Mist Records, album number two, Machinations, is an ass-kicking conundrum of rabid, riff-flinging intensity and tensile, muscular control. Riffs proliferate as though they were particularly rapacious vines trying to get inside your every available orifice, the percussion feels like running a gauntlet while being pelted by rocks and songs have a habit of careering down new, groove-recalibrated byways, yet always leaving you orientated by the irrepressible urge to raise a claw.
If this sounds like your kind of thing in a way that Zen Buddhism does not, rejoice, because we have an equilibrium-ravaging preview in the form of Fortune Favours The Insane. A four-and-a-half-minute sludge/steroid cocktail, its groove laden lurches, breaks spreading out in all directions in the manner of a just-disturbed spiders’ nest and trying-to-eat-your-own-face vocals courtesy of frontman Jimbob battle it out with punk’n’roll passages. The whole thing will leave you with that strange, breathlessly elated sensation of having just tumbled down a hill.
“Our premiere track, Fortune Favours the Insane,” says Jimbob himself, “was the first song written for the new album and is lyrically based around those fine lines between commitment to your art and the brain-splitting madness that it can sometimes push you towards. ‘I ain’t been over the edge… but I’ve seen it’.”
Feel the ill wind at your back, the fire lapping at your heels, and prepare to lose your shit to Fortune Favours The Insane below!
Stumble blindly onto Hark’s Facebook page here!
And pre-order Machinations here!