Harkonen Shake Harder Boy

Harkonen's Hydrahead debut, The Grizz, was a short but sweet introduction that established them as yet another incredibly talented band on the ever-prolific imprint. With the release of Shake, Harkonen has taken the noisemaking from The Grizz, built on, refined and expanded it into something unexpected, progressing into what bassist/vocalist Ben Verellen refers to as a sound that's "a little more straight forward, but still twisted, pissed off and, hopefully, interesting." Verellen attributes the band's gradual transformation to new influences. "There's been a progression over the last few years where we've been listening to different stuff. I think that some Birthday Party/Jesus Lizard-type stuff has been leaking into the songwriting, and maybe some of Pavement's older sounds." And while these influences aren't worn on their sleeves, Shake documents the sounds of a band struggling with heaviness and melody in an original way. And as one might expect, the band's newer material has caused quite a stir. "I think that a lot of people don't really know what to make of us. You've got your sludge/metal kids that think it's not dark enough, or your hardcore kids that are waiting for the mosh part, or the indie kids that don't appreciate our lack of good fashion." Fans of the Hydrahead label will appreciate Harkonen as a band that belongs in the same category as other great Hydrahead bands. And as the Hydrahead "sound" has slowly evolved into something quite diverse, Harkonen has done the same while still, according to Verellen, "trying to discover who the typical Harkonen fan might be." (Hydra Head)