The Harrow are a 4-piece post-punkish synth-heavy dreampop band from New York. They also kind
of linger on the border of gothiness. It's like they dress in black but don't have any Bauhaus tattoos or
dyed black hair, so it's close but not fully there.
I say this despite the fact that they started off their Everything Is Chemical Virtual 7" with a cover
from The Glove (The Cure + a Banshee or two = Goth Supergroup). On listening to this album from them,
i plant them more in the synthy / dreamy world than in gothdom.
The record starts with a short instrumental called We Run before descending into Love
Like Shadows. The female voice is deep and reverbing here and the beat is a clicking drum machine
hit, while keys and guitars dance like an old Love and Rockets tune.
Darling sounds like an outtake from Siouxsie's Hyaena.
On Feral Haze she starts off talking in a deadpan over a clicking beat and throbbing synths.
This is very Ladytron, the song throbbing along until a slippery bass riff comes in along with a faintly
echoed guitar. It sounds like Antarctica remixed by Ladytron, which is pretty cool.
Chandeliers is a dark dance tune with a drum machine that thumps angrily and the bassist
channeling Tones on Tail.
But then, to totally shake things up, The Harrow give us an ambient soundscape piece called Pale
Embers. Synths slide in layers and she sings wordlessly for a few minutes of spacey interlude, and
then they slide into what i think is the best tune here, Kaleidoscope. The drum here is echoed like
King Tubby, and the guitar chimes like The Edge on The Unforgettable Fire. Her voice is
also echoed to hell and back. In fact, the only clear instrument is the bass, which riffs a steady line that
the rest of the song sort of echoes around. It's a really pretty effect, and the whole thing has a nice
groove to it.
When The Pendulum Swings is lighter synthpop, like the early work of School of Seven Bells.
Secret Language is more Ladytron, the synths darker and the whole thing louder.
Finally Silhouettes ends with White Nile, a slower song of chimed guitar and
scattered drum hits. It's not their best work, to be honest, and kind of meanders to close off the album.
So this is good synthy dark pop with dreamy echoed guitar mixed in. What’s not to like?