Boomkat Product Review:
Based in Austin, Texas, here's a band that transcend the lo-fi garage rock idiom they at first glance seem to inhabit. Harlem started out as a duo, with co-founders Curtis O'Mara and Michael Coomer switching roles between frontman/guitarist and drummer. The recent addition of bassist Jose Boyer brings some sort of solidity to the line-up, but it's in the precarious, on-the-fly type dynamics of these songs that the band's strengths come through: for all the technical frailties of a recording like 'Number One' it's pretty close to perfect in terms of poppy garage rock terms, far transcending its roughness and naivety. The hits keep coming with the likes of 'Be Your Baby', the almost Pixies-like 'Gay Human Bones' and the tremendous 'Torture Me', and at every turn this trio seem content to forsake trend-friendly fuzz in favour of unabashed melodic joy. At times the exuberance and lightness of it all makes this album feel a tad like a piece of confectionary, and the sixteen-track running time might over-run ever so slightly, but these are minor gripes that never threaten to tarnish a massively enjoyable set of songs.