Harbor – “Without Colour” Review
Posted: by Sean Gonzalez
Remember about a month ago when I interviewed the cool cat Manny Davis? Well his band Harbor released their EP Without Color on April 20th. I stated that this band was a shoegaze/post-punk band and that really labels them well, but they do not have to be stuck in this specific genre definition, really they create just simple feel good music.
‘Petal’ is a delicate and wishful opening, portraying how much ambiance can be digested by the band members, coming together with such grace. The moments of soothing instrumental breaks are very memorable throughout the EP. I imagine it would have to be hard to provide vocals over a project like this, because the musicianship is entirely serene, too much force would break the crystal clear tones. One listen to the second section of ‘Pines’ and I knew vocalists Juan Urrea and Travis Boyens felt the same way. They have very light and nasally presences, which at times can be comforting but at others can be disjointing from the beauty of the overall progression.
But that is not to say the band cannot get funky and forceful in their own way, ‘Say It’ is a fuzz driven punk song with a catchy vocal melody. The bridge of the song is a mass of distorted guitars wailing about, creating it’s own mess of chaos for a heavily gazed shoe band (or however you call it). In complete contrast ‘Ecclesiastes’ is a warm song with not much going on, but it is calming none the less.
‘Mourning’ is an eight minute behemoth of what could be a My Bloody Valentine and The Eagles jam mashed together with the tenacity of young kids wanting to be heard. The drums really hold the groove together, giving a running away forever pace without ever wanting the swirling guitars to stop. ‘Without Color’ keeps this mindset by starting off with vicious and bellowing bass lines along with more desperate vocals. It is here that the band gives off a little of their message, stating on their bandcamp, “Without Colour is about seeing past the veil of death and losing passion in life. Without Colour is about accepting the infinity of death and finding comfort in life.”
One of my favorite moments on this EP is the ending of ‘Epilogue.’ As it starts to lose focus of being serene and crystal clear all of a sudden Harbor snaps into a miniature hardcore section fitted with walls of distortion before slipping back into a relaxed blend of echoing guitars to complete Without Color.