Harrisons - No Fighting In The War Room

In 2005, Sheffield four-piece, Harrisons used a springing post-mod touch to give the Unsigned Stage at Leeds some credibility and filled the air with promise and expectation. Not long after that they contributed their fair share of rugged, earthy and drilling instrumental precision to a tour of spirited promise when hitting the road with Be Your Own Pet and Good Shoes. It’s still a mystery as to why and a shade disappointing that it is going to be nearly three years on, from their momentum building achievements that this debut album finally hits the public domain. However, in this case, whilst being a little frustrating for those who cottoned onto their honest and ranging pitch early on, Harrisons have used the time well, to take stock and to produce a broad ranging, lyrically insightful and mood-bending full-length. Momentum is never fully lost, you can always regain it and through ‘Dear Constable’, front man Jubby lucidly demonstrates his volume building vocals that are spiked with rustic heart.

 At times, the dusky blues rock vocal leaning Martin Trimble (22-20s), is replicated to punctuate a compact, yet robust back-drop. This is triggered off by the subtle rattle, then bold percussion of Birchie, running into the cyclical twining guitar kick of Stanton. It sets things up for the rhythmical vocals, lashing out at lazy computer gazers and blame avoiding scumbags. The latter theme continues into The Jam spirit reviving ‘Man Of The Hour’. Already these Yorkshire men establish themselves as visceral rhythm users whose lyrics are not just thrown in to complement decent tune-building.  The attention to detail and long slog to the safety of an album release, means that Harrisons have put themselves in a position to achieve what many thought contemporaries Morning Runner would attain. A blues drawl attaches to ‘Simmer Away’, like a groupie and it communicates life weariness with shameless self-indulgence;

“I’ve been here for twelve years and I have cried one thousand tears; I simmer away.....

  It’s hard to keep my head held high when I all I wanna do is die.”

Through the jangle pop-rock of ‘Take It To The Matress’, a heavy heart is placed on the table but it doesn’t take anything away from their spiritedness. A Mick Jagger trace in Jubby’s vocals helps bring out grittiness, honesty and a provocative edge. This energy also gives the yearning acoustic ballad that follows, ‘Listen’ more poignancy, as loneliness is embraced with rugged soul.  However, previously released mod stomp ‘Blue Note’, is the number that truly stands out for its strutting nostalgia and rattling percussion pull. It may have taken longer than the band or fans would have liked, but the result is a debut album that may take longer to forget even for the most fleeting of minds.

Dave Adair

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