Post Harbor – They Can’t Hurt You If You Don’t Believe In Them

Post Harbor – They Can’t Hurt You If You Don’t Believe In Them

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Snap out of your MGMT and Fleet Foxes phase and dig this: post-rock that doesn’t suck. Seattle-based Post Harbor has produced a real gem with their second album They Can’t Hurt You If You Don’t Believe In Them. This record promises to lull you into a false sense of security and then roundhouse kick you in the face with a dynamic range of euphoric sounds.

Post Harbor took a gamble on this one, setting aside an entire year to write and record They Can’t Hurt You. They didn’t play any shows during that time, which seems like a cosmic no-no in today’s music biz. But it was a gamble that paid off and what we are left with is a highly polished work of art. I really must advocate that, to get the full effect, any would-be listener should buy the entire album. The songs flow so fluidly it’s hard to tell when one ends and another begins, everything bleeds into one elegant symphony; the complete listening experience.

The draw comes from the careful arrangement and pacing of each song. Their palette is a diverse one, using a blend of pads, strings and ambience to weave an underlying feel then elaborating with guitar and synthesizer hooks. What’s more, they aren’t afraid to experiment and use dynamic range and eerie silence. They have clearly learned the lesson that not everything has to be loud, or even present, all the time. But don’t let that fool you; the big moments are well-timed, as exemplified by “Shirakashi,” which will have you head banging by the end.

Though compositions, such as this, that are primarily instrumental often suffer from trite lyrics, the spars and unique vocals add depth to the listening experience. Anthony Carlucci is pensive and emotional in his singing; his voice is treated like another instrument, often employing vocal effects to better blend with the surrounding soundscape.

Is this album for everyone? No. But then again, nothing is. It’s nice to listen to something that doesn’t pander to an audience and is instead, genuine to itself. In short: Post Harbor has single-handedly made me excited and hopeful for obscure rock bands in 2010.


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