i'm just gonna copypasta what i wrote for my blog, but this is the first album i've really loved of 2010 and i think a few of you here will dig it.
There have been two records that have succesfully snapped me out of my long running electronic phase over the past 24 hours, and this is the first of them. If there's any hope for what people generally refer to as 'post-rock', its in the hands of bands like Seattle's Post Harbor. A far cry from the vocal-free gain-level exercises of much of the previous decade's post rock, Post Harbor use well-timed vocals, visceral songwriting and pacing, and a wide yet consistent palette of sounds to stake their claim. Don't get it twisted though, PH definitely aren't afraid to get loud when they need to, and They Can't Hurt You... isn't completely free of certain genre bullet points. But the earnestness that comes across in the recording, as well as a clear willingness to experiment with different sounds (check out that vocoder in 'Shirakashi' that somehow works flawlessly) lead me to mark these up to chance intersections rather than easy selling points.
Its always a gamble when bands of this stripe choose to add vocals to their sound, as they flirt with the danger of seeming tacked on at the last minute or worse, bogging down an otherwise grand composition with vocal or lyrical cheese. I haven't delved into the lyrics really, but the vocals are treated with a great sense of reserve that adds another level of intimacy to their warm, emotive bursts.
I thought I was all but past searching out obscure post-rock bands, but here's one that managed to burst through my ever-thickening emotional shell and hit somewhere that's been dormant for awhile now. This album reminded me why I fell in love with this style of music in the first place, and I'm surprised and refreshed that it's the first 2010 album I've really taken to.