Nai Harvest – Hairball review

From debut EP Feeling Better and full-length record Whatever to the game-changing sophomore EP Hold Open My Head, Sheffield’s answer to the likes of Ty Segall and FIDLAR are driving their energetic pools of sound forward to deliver 10 songs of sonic brilliance.

Having the ability to surprise people with each release is a skill that can be quickly lost – people will expect each release to be different. Nai Harvest focuses on their sound on their own terms without consideration of anyone else; and that is what makes Hairball so unique. It’s not a change in sound; it’s a natural evolution from the memorable hooks of cult-hit Buttercups.

Opener track Spin spits into a dreamlike affair between Ben Thompson’s clean guitar cycles and Lew Curries’ rhythmic drumming that is a celebratory pint full of fizz and fuzz before the explosive entrance of acidic throw-up second track Sick On My Heart which, if any of you have caught them live recently, would have definitely been dancing along to.

Releasing a split on flower-shaped vinyl with London mates Playlounge, relentless touring, signing to Topshelf Records and recording an album with legendary producer Bob Cooper (Sky Ferreria, Citizen, etc.), Nai Harvest have it all. Songs like Melanie are the reason why this duo is gaining recognition from the likes of Stereogum, who named the band as their ‘Band to Watch’ for being “fucking great”.

Full of bubbling artistic imagination, Nai Harvest’s hungover brand of garage rock flows through on a summer’s surf on each track. The new recording of anthemic single Buttercups transforms the song from a clean pop hit to a snarling monster of a track with clenched fists and dirty sounding reverb, all washed up in reverb and fuzz that leaves a taste on the tongue you can’t shake off.

There are a few parts of the album that sound truly magic. One particular highlight is Oceans of Madness which I first heard on Nai Harvest’s tour supporting Superheaven around the UK in the fall of last year. The song is fluid between live excellency and creating a special bubble away from the chaotic madness of over songs on the album. Oceans of Madness is nowhere near a precision cut diamond, but is more like waking up from a hard night’s drinking with a clear head.

The neurotic title-track Hairball closes the album on a successful theme of lyrical vomiting throughout the record. The album closer is five minutes of deranged rhythms and hooks, that sound both manic and tired; from acid to come-down to adrenaline jolt Hairball ends the record on a fiercely aggressive and glorious track.

Nai Harvest plan to spend this year much as they did in 2015: extensive touring and festival slots and selling out shows that’ll rocket them skywards off their best material yet. Catch them around the UK throughout April with Best Friends and don’t forget to buy Hairball on the 28th of April if you haven’t pre-ordered it already!


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