New Discovery: Harvey
One of my favorite ways to find new music is Bandcamp. There’s numerous ways to use tags to find whatever it is you are looking for and I often find myself spending hours just clicking along and stumbling across all kinds of new music to fall in love with. Enter Harvey, a fivesome out of St. Louis that’ll grab you by the ears and pull you into their hypnotic, alt rock sound.
The guys started rocking out together in 2004 and toured with the likes of Limbeck, Dr. Manhattan, and Hawthorne Heights before fizzling out and going their separate ways in 2009. The urge to reunite and record an album became unable to resist in 2014 and the guys start working on Never Change. Guitarist Jake Fleming would train from Chicago to St. Louis to meet with Michael Burk (guitar), Maxwell James (drums), and Mathew Beilsmith (bass) about once a month and they would spend the weekend writing new material. That material would then be sent all the way to Portland for vocalist Nate Fleming to work on lyrics and melodies. Nate had also been working on material during the band’s hiatus which was expanded on. Last summer the guys got together with old friend, Seth Henderson (Real Friends, The Devil Wears Prada, and Knuckle Puck) of ABG Recording and spent six weekends recording.
The product of all that work is a wonderful alt and indie rock dream with some lovely pop punk embellishes thrown in for good measure. What attracted me was the little glimpses of classic Taking Back Sunday that come through from time to time. “You Oughta Know by Now” is full of them and I can’t help but listen to the track on repeat a few times before moving on with the album. Harvey clearly know what they’re doing, they were playing at the height of the emo / post-hardcore scene and that shines through brightly on Never Change. Even better, they know how to update their sound enough to make it new and exciting.
“Oh, Fuck (I Thought I Was a Genius)” pairs sharp lyrics with hooky guitars that make it hard to resist the urge to get up and thrash along. “Dead” has the vocal cadence and delivery of Max Bemis at his best. While Never Change manages to pull me in with its nostalgic sound, it keeps me coming back for the updated spin that Harvey puts on post-hardcore. It’s not pop punk sweet nor overly emo, it lands nicely in the middle.
Listening to Never Change I have to wonder if the six year hiatus was just what Harvey needed to get polished and ready to bust out of obscurity. The guys currently don’t have the means to tour but I can tell you I’ll be there front and center when they finally do.