As a surprisingly convincing revitalization of classical mid nineties emotional and post-hardcore Haram’s latest offering “drescher” pops out of nowhere. And while it’s not all about an idealized look back to the good ol’ days it’s the nostalgia which grabs the listener first. In times where the band’s most prominent point of reference – “emo” - is either used for a youth culture robbing the ruins of manga, punk and pop or for a music style somehow akin to melodramatic hard rock this term needs a little bit of introduction. The “emo” Haram refers to is strikingly different than its various current incarnations as the band borrows stylistics and themes from their mid nineties’ originators: exploring the dynamics between the roars of amplified guitars and instrument’s virtual silence by gleaning hunks of hardcore, punk and more or less experimental rock for construing the dialectics of temper and introspection.
“Drescher” goes further than mashing up too obvious influences, though. It has nothing in common with the youthful naivety and the gushy idealism of the mid-nineties pioneers and presents itself therefore much more mature, reflected and composed. Yet it’s not intellectual music, it’s still heartfelt in the best sense. Over the course of nine songs Haram wander through the highs and lows of emotional fuelled post hardcore. “Drescher” starts almost thrillingly punky – for three songs the drums sprout and roll, the guitars burst out a current of shrieking dissonances, distorted melodies while a mish-mash of enthusiastically sung vocals and distorted screams climaxes everything. “Fever sleep” is the first notable exception while it insists on a more indie-rockish songwriting with husky sung vocals, less dissonances and omnipresent minor chords- melodies. The album’s second half is dominated by exactly the same combination: dissonant bursts of noise like “m greene” are intervened by calmer, introspective quasi-pop songs like “head over heart”. And while this is not necessarily something special, it’s striking how compelling the album is. It’s not only a pleasant adaptation of some forgotten standards. More than that it’s a fascinating compilation of modern post-hardcore h i t s.