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HAREM SCAREM
WEIGHT OF THE WORLD

Frontiers / Now & Then FRCD104
Produced by: Hess & Lesperance

Released: March 25 / Website
Relatives: M. Swings, V.O. Reason, Believe & Ultra Feel
GENRE: Melodic Rock
OVERALL: 100%

  1. Weight Of The World
  2. Killing Me
  3. Outside Your Window
  4. All I Want
  5. This Ain't Over
  6. Internude
  7. You Ruin Everything
  8. Charmed Life
  9. If You
  10. See Saw
  11. Voice Inside

For me, it was never going to be a question of 'is this any good', it was always going to be about 'just how good' will it be? By midway through track 2 I knew this was a going to be a major hit. Just how major wasn't evident until I had finished the last seconds of the last track.
This album is an absolute melodic monster. This is one of the best albums I have heard in the 5 years of typing up reviews and one of the better albums in my entire collection.
Just whether you will share my unquestioned enthusiasm for this album will be somewhat determined by your previous dedication to all things Scarem.
Let me explain....this is not Mood Swings 2. A return to the Harem Scarem name after a couple of nu-breed releases under the Rubber name and a reported return to their melodic roots led many to wish for a replica of that well loved classic album.
This isn't quite that - but it isn't far from it either.
This is indeed a wholehearted return to the band's melodic roots, but in the tradition of their 10 year plus recording career, the band have not repeated any previous album and have instead forged ahead again.
But the difference in this album is the way they have forged ahead.
This is an album that takes in several aspects of the bands past and adds a couple of new elements. What that equals is a wonderfully fresh sound and a sparkling collection of tunes that in reality, should provide something for everyone. Weight Of The World contains something for every fan of every style the band have previously encompassed.
For those that aren't looking for something new in the mix or were totally dependant on Mood Swings 2, then not every track will be a classic.
For someone like myself, who has loved each and every previous album and think that the Hess/Lesperance partnership is nothing short of pure genius, then every single track of this album is classic and more.
It's also one of the hardest rocking albums of the band's career.
The biggest musical influence over Weight Of The World is clearly the Mood Swings & Believe style guitar playing, song structure and harmony vocals. Of almost equal influence is the album, with its strong harmonies and moody feel. Surprisingly, the other very strong influence comes from their last record - under the Rubber name. There is an equal influence from the boy's nu-breed tendencies, but in an even better form than the dedicated nu-breed Rubber albums. A few tracks here that would have sounded right at home on Ultra Feel, which itself was a very strong album.
What's even better about this new album is the sharp and precise production, the always present, sometimes intricate harmony vocals (with some thanks to original band drummer Darren Smith) and the huge drum sound, which is possibly their best ever recorded by the band.
Then there are the new twists and turns. Lets take it track by track:
A less than typical intro to Weight Of The World allows the song to explode with even more power. The title track features a big slice of Believe style guitar riffing, with a hard rocking intensity not heard since the Voice Of Reason album. Add some fine guitar soloing and a dark and heavy lead vocal and pounding rhythm section and I would say the album is off to a flying start.
Killing Me is insane. Yes, insane! The intro suggests a little nu-breed touch, but the song is all melody from the first chorus to the last breath. A modern hard rocker, with a huge drum sound. But the biggest thrill of all is the point where the chorus leaps from the speakers and latches itself to your brain, never to be parted again. One of the best tracks of the album. A monster anthem in part Mood Swings, part Nu-Breed style.
Outside Your Window is another heavy track, this time mid-tempo'd, with lots of special effects and a modern production touch. Truly a new sound for the band, with Harry Hess' vocals tougher than ever. But then we get another one of those classic Harem Scarem choruses, with a definite Mood Swings 'Change Comes Around' feel. Once again, the powerful drum sound is awesome in driving the song.
All I Want features a more familiar guitar sound, updated in line with the album's sound. This is a feel good up tempo rocker with another big Scarem/Def Leppard bridge/chorus, complete with lots of harmony vocals.
This Ain't Over is a beautiful power ballad and the only one of the whole album. This track features Harry's love of Queen, featuring some pompish and orchestral Queen elements, plus that unmistakable grand piano. The chorus is AOR at it's very lighter-in-the-air best.
Internude is a snappy little frantically paced instrumental piece that only runs 90 seconds. Pete captures a great guitar sound.
The song runs straight into You Ruin Everything, another masterpiece of classic melodic rock meets nu-breed. The track is right in your face, with a dark and attitude filled vocal. The bridge of the song is awesome and intensifies the feel. It's only eclipsed by a monster chorus that will leave every fan of Rubber in awe. Plenty of harmony vocals.
For other fans, there are more harmonies and hooks going on to more than keep you happy.
The hard rocker Charmed Life follows quickly...this song is another melodic gem. This track shows another new side to the band. The drum sound and modern production sound quickly make it a stand out. But what's with the chorus?? It's certainly a new twist for the band and here's a warning: First listen you will wonder why they didn't go bigger. But it will be there first chorus you start humming once the albums finished. Pure genius.
It doesn't stop there. If You is another 100% in your face good fun, up tempo nu-breed rocker that is just so much fun to listen to. Again, Rubber fans will be the first to love it, but it's so damn catchy others won't hold out. Very well produced and lots to listen to.
See Saw is a Pete Lesperance written instrumental, featuring the whole band and very much in the style of Believe's Baby With A Nail Gun.
Voice Inside completes the album for most listeners. In the very close tradition of Had Enough and Change Comes Around, this fast paced tempo is all Mood Swings, all guitar and all harmonies. It's huge.
And that's it - the wild ride of the album is over. It clocks in at less than 40 minutes, but you know what? I don't care. I am sick of albums that over stay their welcome. This is one of few albums I get to the end of and hit play straight away again. EVERY time. I just love it.
That's not to say that it couldn't have used at least one extra track (the Japanese have that bonus).
BOTTOM LINE: There will be some fans that don't quite get this. Those are the ones looking for Mood Swings all over again. So take note of that before buying!
For those with a broader mind, this album offers some of the best produced, best written and best executed modern melodic rock songs ever. The songs are short and sweet - they start, they rock, they get to the huge choruses and then they finish. That's why listening to this album is a wild ride. It's perfectly paced and perfectly produced. And at the and it leaves you exhausted and wanting more. The very point of a great album.
This may take time to grow on some, but with others it will be an instant attraction.
For me it was love at first listen, but even after 10 or 20 plays, there are still more hooks coming to my attention.
No matter what anyone says - for me this is a classic melodic rock release for any years. Faultless.
I might add that this is only the 3rd perfect score I have given in 5 years of running this site.
PRODUCTION: 100% SONGS: 100% VIBE: 100%ATTITUDE: 100%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Fans of Harem Scarem's later work like both Mood Swings and Big Bang Theory / Rubber, most other fans and all fans of catchy as hell melodic hard rock.
DISCOGRAPHY:Harem Scarem . Mood Swings . Voice Of Reason . Believe/Karma Cleansing . Big Bang Theory . Rubber . Ultra Feel . Weight Of The World



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