Harker - Hours [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Hours [EP] (2014)

Unfun Records

Brighton, UK's Harker began life as the solo project of one man, Mark Boniface. It allowed him to focus his folk/punk delivery nicely but as a number of solo artists have also done recently, he decided to develop Harker into a full blown band, with the four track "Hours" EP being the first output of the quartet.

This expansion of Harker reaps benefits from providing a much fuller sound to that Boniface was previously offering up. I have to say that I do prefer this new approach and to me it gets the most out of Boniface's voice but also allows the Muncie Girls' drummer, Luke Ellis, to add his two penneth into the mix as well. Over the past couple of years Ellis has grown in stature in terms of his contribution to his main gig, and he does likewise in Harker.

The EP opens with "Neat Rows" and it would be easy to believe that Harker were actually from the USA rather than the South Coast of England, such is the whole sound of the track. Both Boniface's vocals and the Jimmy Eat World meets The Get Up Kids musical accompaniment throw me off course for a few moments but once I've regained my composure I realise that it's a really good song, that is along the lines of what fellow UK artist, Jon Greenwood, is doing with his band The Doublecross.

"Somewhere Better" is more of the same musically and keeps up the quality its predecessor began. It's also on this track that Ellis opens up his little box of tricks or at least for me a non—musician I feel that he adds moments that for me make the track even more memorable than it is anyway – without doubt my favourite track and the one I'd recommend as an initial point of contact with the band. The first two tracks conjure up images of seeing Jimmy Eat World back in 2002, and although it's not a bad I've really paid attention to for some time, I'm happy to have those memories brought to the forefront of my mind by Harker as they were from a pivotal time of my life.

The final two songs, "Hours" and "City Limits", offer up something a little bit different with a slower and more considered approach that although not as immediate as the first two tracks still manage to retain my interest and the latter of those tracks is a definite slow burner, which has cemented itself firmly in my head. I have to add that, I can't get the band Fun out of my head during the last thirty seconds of "Hours" as the group singing just reminds me of something of theirs that I've inadvertently heard.

This is a pretty good effort with a full and ebullient sound providing quite a melodic treat.