Harem Scarem - United album review

The comeback trail continues for Canadian melodic hard rockers

Cover art for Harem Scarem - United album

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Melodic hard rock, like the poodle hair that often accompanies it, appeared to be undergoing a period of selective appeal a few years back, at which point Harem Scarem took a five-year break. However, a return to the fray with a 20-year anniversary re-recording of their album Mood Swings convinced them that there was still juice in the tank. This is their second album since their comeback.

Although they certainly know their way around a slaloming riff, as evidenced on opener United, one is forced to wonder how grave the consequences would be if the world had remained one new Harem Scarem album short. This is very much an addition to rather than an enhancement of their genre. The theme of “holding on”, however, is lyrically strong, on No Regrets, and The Sky Is Falling, as if they feel they are sliding down the side of a melting monolith into oblivion, unable to adapt or change tack.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.