It’s funny how the briefest of connections can often help the cause. A brief chat over a pint after a Dead Royalties gig in the depths of one of Bristol’s less salubrious neighbourhoods has led to this brief review of Harri Larkin’s demos. And what crackers they are. Bleed My Heart Out, okay, it’s not going to change the musical landscape weaving a path between punk and pop and channelling the spirit of the 90’s Riot Grrrl sound, but it does it’s job better than most bands who try to couple the accessibility of pop with the aggression of punk, much better. That is doing the track a slight disservice because actually it’s great, a wonderful slab of energy and direct, clean musical lines, get’s straight on with the job and easily passes the acid test in that an hour later you will be humming the chorus without realising you are doing it.
And as if to prove that this is not just a one trick pony, other tracks range from shimmering walls of underground pop-rock in the guise of Safe To Say and the more indie vibes of I’m Not Awkward to the ska groove of They’ll Take Anything But The Blame, a song that No Doubt would have killed for back in the day. It’s an impressive array of songs, delve deep enough and you will find a 2 year back catalogue which charts the development of a singer-songwriter building up to the fully developed sound of the more recent recordings that I have focused on. There is much to like here and at times reminds me of some of the bands that seem to be stepping through the door opened by Warpaint’s meteoric rise, particularly London trio Cat Bear Tree. In short as a set of demo’s they are great and I for one can’t wait until there is a fully produced release to get my hands on, in the meantime however, these tracks will do just fine.