After relentlessly touring their sold out 7", Nai Harvest found time to record their debut album - Whatever, which showcases 10 tracks of modern emo at its best.
Opening with the title track, which is available for download now, the Sheffield duo do what they do best: fiddly crunchy guitars sandwiched in-between loud distortion. This song is so happy sounding at times, which is weird when you think of the word "emo", but when Ben Thompson's rough vocals belt out the nihilistic lyrics you can see where they got their genre tag. Whatever is the longest track on an album made up of songs that barely make 3 minutes, but it doesn't feel long compared to the others. With changes in chord patterns and rhythms, Nai Harvest keep you guessing all the way through, and this carries on for the rest of the 12".
As the album progresses with tracks such as Floor and Sitcom Fade-in, one thing is apparent about this album: although the duo still have their fiddly parts, there are a lot less, and this album is a lot heavier than their previous works. I'm not saying I'd start a wall of death, but the guitars have an obvious change in tone.
Twin Tweaks has a slight change again, with the lead parts not being fiddly, but more of a simple guitar riff. But simplicity isn't a bad thing, quite the opposite: it works in Nai Harvest's favour. It lets them show fans and fans-to-be that they're not one trick ponies fiddling about on clean guitars, they know how to write good songs and know when it helps to be more simple than intricate.
Distance, etc. is more like the 'old' Nai Harvest. Fiddly guitars and even gang shouts. I'm blown away. I don't know how Ben can play this and sing at the same time, but he does. And it's here I realise why I think I've heard these vocals before. I don't know if this is a good or bad thing, but I find the vocals somewhat alike those of The Cribs. Now, I loved The Cribs, but I don't know how the band might take that compliment. But trust me, it's a compliment.
This band continues to impress throughout, with Red Letter Day, On Play somehow managing to sound like grunge would if grunge wasn't so damn unhappy. Whatever ends on To Be There, a massive track that I can see being a crowd pleaser, easily. It has a big chorus at the end that finishes off the album perfectly.
When Whatever finished, I pressed repeat, then I went online and pre-ordered the vinyl. Nai Harvest quickly moved from being a band I liked to one of my favourites.
Whatever by Nai Harvest is out on April 15th via Dog Knights Productions and Pinky Swear Records.