The Harrisons - No Fighting In The War Room
Tim Miller 23/06/2007
You don't need a degree in accents or the current music scene to recognise that Harrisons are from Yorkshire, and probably - confirmed by MySpace - Sheffield. 2006 was a successful year for music in that area; aside from the obvious, the Long Blondes and Little Man Tate both broke into the limelight, the latter somewhat dubiously, but nevertheless, Harrisons aim to follow the same, now well-trodden path from Sheffield to Stardom. From the rubble to the Ritz, if you will.
The opener Dear Constable, also their current single, is tightly packed with spikey guitars and hissing hi-hats, while what sounds like a certain Mr Turner spits breathlessly over the top. The snotty vocal performance is let down by some slightly trite lyrics; We need to name and to shame, but who exactly is to blame? It serves, despite that, as a decent, spunky opening to this LP, and with the following tracks Man Of The Hour and Wishing Well both short bursts of stripped back, shouty indie, I can't help feeling that the likes of the Maccabees and the Enemy are going to be given a run for their money during the summer's festival slots, as Harrisons seem to fit right into that bracket.
This isn't necessarily a great thing, however. The peaks of this album are its upbeat, disco-tinged moments: the aforementioned opening track, as well as Take It To The Mattress, a song of bounding, stomping energy, and Monday's Arms, sounding like The Dead '60s taking on New Order's Blue Monday. Thrown in for good measure is the more tranquil Little Boy Lost, an unassuming but neatly melodic bite of downbeat, post-Libertines rock 'n' roll.
But, Harrisons seem to want to reflect a variety of attitudes, and fail to settle on which to affect. Instances of the swagger exuded by the likes of Kasabian are evident on Harrisons' more assured songs, but at other times, such as Medication Time and Wishing Well, they attempt to capture the spirit that embodied the classic punk artists, the Ramones and Buzzcocks. The trouble lies in that Harrisons lack the spontaneity and the reality of situation that made that spirit so refreshing in its original context, the lyrics are uneventful and barely illuminating, and on No Fighting in The War Room, it becomes only an empty, forced imitation.
There's more than enough here to leave the album dying on its feet though. Genuine, fierce indie tunes pepper this 12-strong album, and Harrisons no doubt conduct a disorderly live show which will do the songs a world of good, giving them raw, human feel. It's simply that at the moment, Harrisons are holding up a mirror to the indie scene, and while they make a pretty good reflection, there's so much more to see.