Harley's War - "Harley's War 2012" CD Review (MVD Audio) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Harley's War - "Harley's War 2012" CD Review (MVD Audio)

Harley's War - 'Harley's War 2012' CD Review (MVD Audio)Cro-Mags/Harley’s War bassist/vocalist Harley Flanagan posted a new track, “Comfort the Children”, to YouTube in late 2008 but little was heard after that. Seemingly out of nowhere, Harley’s new disc, Harley’s War 2012 (MVD Audio), hit the streets earlier this month. There isn’t much in the way of liner notes with this release so I’m taking some guesses as to the source of this material.

The disc’s first five tracks are previously unreleased studio material that feature Ryan Krieger (Drums and Rhythm Guitars), Will Dahl (Rhythm Guitars and Leads), Sean Kilkenny (Rhythm Guitars and Leads) and Rocky George (Lead Guitars). Given this lineup toured with Harley’s War in 2007, I’m guessing that the band may have had an unreleased studio session in the can. The songs are a solid mix of NYHC and experimental (almost bordering on black) metal. “Life is a Struggle” and “Comfort the Children” sound like the early Cro-Mags and have “from the streets” lyrical themes. “Extinction”, “Purpose of Your Life” and “The End is Drawing Near” are dark-themed metal tracks which include Tibetan Monks “OM”, quotes from Floyd Red Crow Westerman and Maha Mantra from His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

The next six tracks sound like a live rehearsal where the band touches on multiple point from the Cro-Mags back catalogue. The band sounds great and blasts from one song to the next – my only (minor) ‘complaint’ is that Harley’s vocals could have been better mic’d.
- “World Peace”
- “These Streets”
- “It’s the Limit”
- “My Life”
- “Street Justice”

The disc’s final tracks are from a live show recorded in Japan which I’m assuming this is from Harley’s 2007 tour. This recording appears to be from the soundboard as the crowd is only audible between the songs. The tracks on this segment are:
- “Survival of the Street”
- “Days of Confusion”
- “No Sympathy”
- “Premeditated”
- “Jones”
- “Hard Times”
- “Life of My Own”

It is great to see Harley back in action and these new studio tracks add to his legacy. One would assume that Harley will head out on the road once his first release for Southern Lord drops so the live and demo tracks serve as a good teaser for what is to come.

Harley Flanagan