Harlem's Hippies is instantly classic bubblegum garage rock

Harlem’s sound isn’t anything new. We’ve heard such similar material recently from the likes of Black Lips, The King Khan and BBQ Show and Smith Westerns (to name a few). But there’s still something great about Harlem that makes them stand out like they’ve been here for years. They have a certain playful charm on their second album (first on a big label) that draws you in and holds you in their catchy bubblegum garage rock clutches.

There are a handful of songs on Hippies that really stand out and make the album great. “Friendly Ghost” and “Gay Human Bones” are the great, head-bopping singles, while “Someday Soon” and “Be Your Baby” are more traditional pop songs done just right. But what is so admirable about the album is the constant energy and seemingly endless supply of simple, catchy songs. Even on “Faces,” stuck at the very middle of the album, the band hasn’t dropped an ounce of the high energy they established at the beginning.

On Hippies, Harlem come off sounding like pros. They haven’t been around for long, but they’ve established themselves as a force that can deliver just as well as anybody else, sometimes even better. Although the album gives great energy and great songs, it lacks slightly in that it risks getting just a little stale. The songs are different enough that you don’t get bored, but they’re similar enough that they tend to run together. But with such awesome standout tracks, Hippies is easily placed in the upper echelon of bubblegum garage rock music.

Harlem – “Friendly Ghost” [MP3]

Harlem – “Gay Human Bones” [MP3]

Harlem – “Be Your Baby” [MP3]

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