Exciting times! Brighton four piece Harker have just released a brand new EP on Paper + Plastik Records and No Panic Records titled A Lifetime Apart. I've had the pleasure of seeing Harker play live a couple of times this year and they have cemented their place as one of the UK best punk bands in my eyes so for me there was a lot of anticipation around this release.
Harker write punk rock that the older generation will love just as much as the kids. Lead singer and acoustic guitarist Mark Boniface has a voice filled with heart and emotion and this is displayed throughout the opening track, 23. This song, about feeling detached from the world, really showcases Boniface's excellent vocals from the off, pulling you into the song. Musically there is a series of highs and lows throughout the song, adding to the emotion of it all. Certain To Spill is a song about developing as adults at different speeds. On my listen of Certain To Spill the lyrics "We're All Stuck Ten Years Behind, Adult Age, Younger Minds" really stood out to me and is very often how I feel about my adult life. The song begins with a nice guitar riff for electric guitarist Tony Ware before the whole band come in. On previous Harker releases it has felt like Mark playing with a backing band but this is certainly not the case with A Lifetime Apart. Sleepy Eyed starts out with the inclusion of some strings, inititally going slowly before spending most of the song at a nice mid tempo pace and then really coming to life in the final section of the track. I do enjoy a good build up during a song. The final song on A Lifetime Apart is called Nightmare Fuel. This song starts out quickly before slowing down to allow Boniface's vocals to come in. I can instantly imagine this live as a real fist-in-the-air sing-along moment. I have said a million times that one thing that makes a song great is the ability for the listener to imagine how it would be performed live and Nightmare Fuel definitely possesses this quality. This is the first song that feells like a full on punk rock banger where the shackles are taken off and the whole band just goes for it. I really enjoyed the change of pace here, showing that Harker can play as hard and as fast as anyone.