Monday, November 10, 2008
Harvey Milk: Loud Band For the Ages
From the Where Has This Music Been All My Life file, comes Harvey Milk. They're an Athens, Georgia-based group who've been largely ignored since they began, back in the 1990's. Sort of the perfect antithesis to the crushing metal that takes itself too seriously, theirs are essentially love songs, Leonard Cohen covers, and other, less-than-manly fare played with more ooomph than handfuls of black-clad, neck-tattooed, and corpse painted heshers trying desperately to be heavy.
There's poetry in this stuff too, and from a guy with a general disdain for most poetic things, I've come to appreciate it, especially when set to music that's got the bombast, restraint and tonal excellence that this stuff does. Where heavy music can generally go one of two ways, total stoner riff repetition, without much to set one song apart from another, or dull dronery ala Sunn, Harvey Milk just play slow, tight, sad/triumphant shit, and it's pretty excellent.
Chunklet recently re-released their My Love Is Higher Than Your Assessment of What My Love Could Be on beautiful double LP. More to come in the re-issue dept. from them, sounds like. Hydrahead's responsible for their newest piece of work, entitled Life... The Best Game In Town, which is thoroughly a winner, on par with their best work.
Oregonian and Total Fest alumnus Joe Preston, whose Thrones is one of the best "bands" to ever rock, is currently the bassist for this outfit.
Not sure what the connection their gay California politician namesake is. NPR's doing a special on him soon.