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You should listen to HRVRD

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In case you're having trouble reading that last word of the headline there, it's pronounced "Harvard," like the school and not "her-verd," which isn't really anything.

Those other four words though, "You should listen to," might be a little perplexing as well; Why should you listen to HRVRD: a band with complete disrespect for vowels?

Let me explain.

At first listen, the vowelless North Carolinians will undoubtedly trick your easily swayed ears into thinking they're all secretly just the members of Circa Survive trolling under a different name. Call it a side project, a secret group, a baby band, whatever you want. Seriously, even after countless spins of each album, I'm still not entirely convimced the whole thing isn't an elaborate ruse by Circa frontman Anthony Green, because they sound that similar. Honestly though, there really is no higher lraise a band can receive than to say they can easily be mistaken for a much more experienced, and downright amazing, group. Still, if saying HRVRD are essentially a slightly tweaked version of great band isn't enough, and you need firther convincing, well...fine.

Allow me to convince you.

HRVRD's debut (which admittedly doesn't sound exactly like a Circa Surive, only really like one), The Inevitable and I, takes a smooth, spacey atmosohere and layers on thick amounts of lush instruments; We're talking horns, keys, kicking snares, tambourines, and an insane amount of guitars that tweak, wail and crunch. Throw in the otherwordly vocals of Jesse Clasen that (again sound similar to Circa's Anthony Green, but in a more homage kind of way) fly every which way, and you've got a fully fleshed rock album that's (here we go again) reminiscent of Circa Survive's Juturna mixed with a more aggressive--dare I say cinematic-- edge. Throw in the fact that the the album features almost and hour and a half of uniquely explosive music that rarely slows, but never grows stale, and you've got yourself a perfectly juxtaposed atmospheric rock record to soundtrack your wintery drives, or whatever.

That's not all, though.

Thats just their first album. With their follow up, From The Bird's Cage, HRVRD dropped the vowels that were originally part of their name and removed a considerable amount of noise from their sound. The instrumental layering is still vibrant and impressive, but on a much more muted scale. Horns quiver and creep throughout the foggy atmosphere of the record, giving a hauntingly beautiful ambience to their spaced out sound. It takes alot of guts for a band to abndon their sound almost entirely for a sophomore debut, but it takes even more talent to pull it off. The overblown rock is replaced with gentle unease and chilly vivacity that contrasts the sound of it's predecessor beautifully, giving the group a interesting and diversified catalogue even when they're only two albums in.

With the one-two of The Invitable and I and From The Bird's Cage, HRVRD prove that they arent a one, or even a two, trick pony. They're multitalented thoroughbreds, capable of trampling any style they damn well please, and doing so with ease and vigor that most bands can only feign mustering.

Seriously, you should listen to HRVRD.


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