The band’s tightly knit chemistry was apparent, with lead vocals changing between Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley, however all of the members contribute to vocals, giving an extra layer of melody to the already lush sound. The buzz of the guitars often shimmered but on tracks such as the lovely “Only With You” the band is much more subdued and the piano/synth sounds are captured and highlighted perfectly.
In their prior full length release “ YR Body is Nothing”; Boy Harsher created a driving, yet stripped down musical landscape, evoking an uneasy neurotic headspace with existential sexual crisis based lyrics paired with beats that your body can’t help but dance to. It causes the listener an uneasy reaction of pleasure met with discomfort. The single release, “Pain” showed the strengths of the band captured in a single track. Let me tip my hat to another well known band who captures this feeling by saying Boy Harsher do indeed capture the “pain” that we have not only become used to, but now fully seek out and can’t get enough of.
Pure Phase Ensemble 4 is amazing. This project oozes with enough jangle and harmony to keep every listener within the fringes of Shoegaze and Dreampop happy, and there’s enough credit to make it a draw to those who enjoy that style of music, even without ever hearing a sample of the project. Mark Gardener from Ride, Ray Dickaty, an ex member of Spiritualized, and Karol Schwarz (KSAS), who manages Poland’s Nasiono Records front this version of the ever evolving Pure Phase Ensemble project, that pulls acts from various stellar indie bands with each new incarnation.
A Copy for Collaspe’s second single “Grey Sunday” is a sickly sweet, sinister treat for those who like darker synthpop. Fans of Teeel and Torul should welcome another shimmering nightmare into their listening consciousness, as this track packs just enough glitter in its fangs to make you wonder if you should stay asleep or snap out of the dream before you reach the song’s conclusion.
This last song from Star Horse is a new site favorite, with roots deep in the Shoegaze/Dreampop category. It’s a wonderfully blissed out mellow track, with vocals that feature ethereal female vocals for the verses, layered male/female harmornies for the chorus and perfectly fuzzed out, catchy guitar riffs.