Album Review: Nai Harvest – Hairball

Just by looking at the artwork for ‘Hairball’ it is easy to get a good idea what to expect from one of the most exciting two piece bands in the UK. You know it is going to be a pop record, a pop record thats a bit rough round the edges to be precise. The familiar messy, jangly guitars, thumping drums and huge pop melodies are everywhere on ‘Hairball’, and the album draws you in and holds your attention with its energetic boldness, conjuring up colourful images of 90s summertime youthfulness throughout.

‘Spin’ kicks things off nicely with its almost surf rock vibe. Every second of the song is filled with a boisterous mash up of Japandroids-esque guitars and nasally punk vocals courtesy of Ben Thompson. On this track the band have managed to capture the adrenaline of their live shows perfectly. Next up‘Sick On My Heart’ keeps things moving at a breakneck speed, fuelled by cacophonous drums from Lew Currie. ‘Hairball’ feels like one huge 35 minute sugar rush, and it is exhilarating to say the least. It really is startling just how much noise and energy Nai Harvest are able to conjure from only guitar and drums.

Nai Harvest up the pace again with ‘Melanie’, another furious three minutes of punk. It is on this track that the change in Thompson’s vocals since ‘Whatever’ was released is most obvious. His voice is almost unnaturally higher than previousreleases, but it works extremely well. It is equal part 90s shoegaze and modern indie punk that leaves the listener dizzy. ‘Ocean of Madness’ is a personal favourite, slowing things down for a more introspective but equally as catchy song about days defined by apathy. It provides the only real variation on ‘Hairball’ and is a welcome break from the full on sound of the rest of the record.

Its an exciting time for Nai Harvest, ‘Hairball’ is set to catapult them into mainstream indie NME land, and it is fully deserved. Its clear that they can write a mean pop song with more hooks than The Wombats and with more urgency than Japandroids. The band have expertly honed their craft and their sound throughout their existence and have finally struck gold. Don’t sleep on this one.

4/5

‘Hairball’ by Nai Harvest is out now on Topshelf Records.

Nai Harvest links: Facebook|Twitter

Words by Andy McGonigle (@andyjmcg87)

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