Jan 21, 2012

Harlis - Harlis (1975)

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While German Prog/Art rockers JANE may be a familiar name outside of the Prog arena, HARLIS were a tremendously talented offshoot of the band who recorded two albums that didn’t conform to the Prog Rock rulebook, but didn’t stray to far from it either. Led by former JANE member CHARLY MAUCHER, Harlis were a bit looser than their contemporaries, which added a raw edge to their sound.  While the band features excellent musicians, Harlis’ sound is more about the band as a whole as opposed to the skills of the individuals.  Adding a bit more Blues and British and American Rock influences into the mix may have turned away some Prog fans, but in doing so, their sound has a timeless quality to it.
Harlis’ 1975 self-titled debut was a joyous slice of Rock that didn’t really belong to any defined genre.  The opening track, “BMW”, straddles the line between the Blues and Pub Rock, while “Free” sounds like a Joe Cocker-led Gospel nugget. “Grey Rain” veers towards melodic Pop territory. “Runaway” is another bluesy rocker that adds a little Lemmy to the Cocker-esque vocals. “Bells Of Bothfeld” is a nice instrumental that does showcase the great musicianship without sounding like a pretentious noodle-fest.  The album closes with “Michael” and ‘Time Will Run”, which are both spacious Pop tunes with Prog flourishes.  While the band may sometimes sound a little unsure of themselves in a few spots, the album is a breath of fresh air.
1. BMW
2. Free
3. Grey Rain
4. Bells Of Bothfeld
5. Runaway
6. Michael
7.  Time Will Run
8. Married Love 

Charly Maucher - vocals, bass
Wolfgang Krantz - guitar
Arndt Schulz - guitar
Werner Lohr - drums

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hanalex said...

P/w: hanalex

Lamz said...

Thanks, have all the Jane albums and had not heard these. Ordered both Harlis discs 2010 Sereena with live bonus tracks.