Harem Scarem - Mood Swings (1993)

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Harem Scarem - Mood Swings (1993)

Príspevokod užívateľa Horex » 24 Sep 2021, 11:14

Harem Scarem - Mood Swings (1993)

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Year : 1993
Style : Melodic Hard Rock
Country : Canada
Audio : 320 kbps + all scans + Video
Size : 176 mb


Bio:

Harem Scarem are a Canadian hard rock band from Toronto, ON. Harem Scarem achieved popularity in Japan and their native Canada in the early 1990s. Harem Scarem were originally active from 1987 to 2008 and reformed in 2013. Throughout their career, they released 12 studio albums, plus numerous live and compilation albums.Early years:Harem Scarem was formed in 1987 by guitarist Pete Lesperance and singer Harry Hess, formerly of Blind Vengeance who had recorded one heavy metal album in the late 80's. The lineup was rounded out by Darren Smith (drums) and Mike Gionet (bass). They recorded a demo CD in 1990, which garnered them attention since most demos at the time were released on cassette tape only. On the strength of this demo, they were signed to Warner Music and recorded their first album. This demo CD, which was sold to fans, is long out of print.Commercial Success:In 1991, Harem Scarem released their self titled debut album, which charted at No. 68 on the Canadian album chart. The band scored a hit single from the album; "Slowly Slipping Away", which charted at No. 25 on the Canadian single chart. They also managed to chart two minor hits; "Honestly" and "Love Reaction" The following year, Harem Scarem was able to gain some notoriety when 8 songs from their debut album Harem Scarem were predominantly featured in the Canadian teen series Degrassi Junior High, and Degrassi High's farewell TV movie, School's Out.Harem Scarem released their second album in 1993, Mood Swings, which had a harder sound to it than their previous album. It also featured the recorded vocal debut of drummer Smith on the song "Sentimental Blvd." A fan favorite, Mood Swings charted at No. 83 on the Canadian charts. The album's lead off single was "No Justice", which managed to chart at No. 59 in Canada, while the other two singles failed to chart. Mood Swings caused the band to gain popularity in Japan, and the band's previous album was quickly issued in that country the following year. This was followed by a live and acoustic EP, appropriately titled Live & Acoustic.Short Lived Success:In 1995, the band released their third album Voice of Reason. The album introduced a change in the band's musical style, and was darker in sound than the first two albums. The song "Blue" was released as a promotional single and had a music video for it, however it failed to chart. Bassist Mike Gionet departed after Voice of Reason for personal reasons and was replaced by former Blu Bones member Barry Donaghy.The next two albums, Karma Cleansing (which was released as Believe in Japan) and Big Bang Theory, saw Harem Scarem modernizing their sound. Barry Donaghy also made his lead vocal debut with Harem Scarem on "Sometimes I Wish" from Big Bang Theory. Both the albums and the singles from them again failed to chart. In 1998, the band released their last commercial single "So Blind".Rubber:In 1999, Harem Scarem changed their name to Rubber, and released two albums under that name in Canada. However, they still used the name Harem Scarem in Japan and the rest of the world. Pete Lesperance made his recorded lead vocal debut on the song "Trip" from the self-titled Rubber CD. They made a music video for "Sunshine", which had actors that looked like Jay and Silent Bob, and parodied movies which were released around that time, such as American Pie. The second album under the Rubber name, Ultra Feel, featured their new drummer Creighton Doane (brother of Melanie Doane) replacing Darren Smith. Smith briefly switched to guitar and joined Helix as a touring member. The band soon dropped the Rubber name and switched back to their original name, Harem Scarem.Later Years and Breakup:2002's Weight of the World (released as a Rubber album in some markets) harkened back to the earlier sound of Mood Swings. It was followed in 2003 by Higher. The album's sound was more of a combination of classic melodic rock with a modern production. The album also featured the power ballad "Higher". The year 2003 also saw the release of Harry Hess' debut solo album Just Another Day which was well received by fans. In 2004 Pete Lesperance released his debut solo album Down In It (re-recorded with Mike Turner and released under the band name Fair Ground in 2006).Continuing their prolific output of studio albums, 2005's Overload was followed by Human Nature in 2007. The Japanese version of Overload features a cover of the AC/DC classic, "You Shook Me All Night Long".On July 19, 2007, lead singer Harry Hess announced that Harem Scarem "will make one more studio record, and then after 20 years we have decided to move on to other things". The final album, called Hope, was released July 2008.Post-Breakup...On June 21, 2010 Frontiers Records announced a new studio project called First Signal featuring ex-Harem Scarem members Harry Hess and Darren Smith. The album was released on August 27, 2010.Much of the Harem Scarem back catalogue was reissued in September 2010, featuring bonus tracks. Included in the reissue program are albums formerly only available in Japan, such as B-Side Collection, Rocks, and Ballads.On December 2012 it was announced that a reunited Harem Scarem would headline the 10th Firefest festival in Nottingham UK in October 2013.

Album:

Mood Swings is a 1993 album by the Canadian hard rock band Harem Scarem. A music video was shot for the song "No Justice".The album charted at No. 85 on the Canadian charts.Most bands have that one benchmark album.You know the one: the album that all others are compared against. Every time the band releases a new album, you usually hear, “Best album since blank!” For Harem Scarem, Mood Swings is that album. Only two records into their long and prolific career, and they already put out their magnum opus.Harem Scarem were (and are) better than the average hard rock band. With Pete Lesperance on guitar, they had a guy who was able to do Nuno-like shreddery. They had two guys — Harry Hess and Darren Smith — who can sing lead. They also had two great backing singers, Lesperance and Mike Gionet. (Darren “DJ” Smith was even the oft-criticized frontman for Jake E. Lee’s solo band Red Dragon Cartel.) Together though, the four guys were able to create Queen-like harmonies that added depth to the music. Fact is, Harem Scarem put out a better album in 1993 than many of the top selling rock records of that year. I saw the band live in early 1992, and they were still doing covers in their set at that time. They really impressed with two unusual covers that showed off their talents: “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”. Impressive stuff. The prospects for the next album were promising.As if to say “Check THIS shit out,” Lesperance opens the CD with some pretty impressive licks, before diving head first into the riff to “Saviors Never Cry”. (I’m sure Negan agrees with that sentiment.) With the pomp and circumstance of a band trying to expand its horizons, “Saviors Never Cry” provides the thrills & chills. Slight keyboard accents and tricky licks proved that this was not a band of pretty boys, but a group of musicians taking no prisoners. When “No Justice” commences with those layered harmony vocals, your ass will be sore from all the kicking. You can’t find a stronger chorus anywhere, but it’s not wimp rock. As a first single, it drove home the band’s growth since LP #1. Their trajectory was much in line with their American counterparts, Extreme, who were growing album by album.Backwards guitar lulls you in for “Stranger Than Love”, a radio ready track with more of the powerful patented Harem Scarem vocals. Hess looks like a lion with that curly mane of his, and he roars like one too. While songs such as “Stranger Than Love” are completely accessible to anyone, “Change Comes Around” is full throttle. With the speedometer in the red, yet harmonies intact, Harem Scarem blazed the tarmac clean. Unlike their grunge opponents, Harem Scarem focused on the positive in their lyrics. “When all your faith is gone, don’t let it pull you under. Change comes around, sail on to higher ground.” Generic inspirational rock nonsense? Absolutely. Great fun to sing along with? Definitely.Harem Scarem are a diverse rock band, and “Jealousy” is the first change of pace. A sparse arrangement allows the instruments to stand out more, which Lesperance uses to lay down bluesy lick after bluesy lick. It’s not a blues song, but it’s influenced by blues. It was a brilliant side closer, fading out and making way for the lead vocal debut of Darren Smith. The drummer nails “Sentimental Blvd.” He sounds a bit like the late Eric Carr (Kiss) on this pop rocker. Boppy piano provides even more melodic backbone to an already strong song.Lesperance is a talented enough player to earn an instrumental solo track, which is the ballad “Mandy”. A good guitar instrumental should be both melodic and adventurous. It should be memorable, but hopefully the soloist is pushing their own talents. “Mandy” succeeds in both technique and songwriting. It gives way to one of the heaviest album tracks, “Empty Promises”. Without losing their sound or harmonies, Scarem’s “Empty Promises” manages to crack the concrete with a wrecking ball of heavy rock.“If There Was a Time” is one of the most impressive ballads on the album, possessing both darkness and light sides. Once again the harmonies sell it. The musicianship isn’t busy but it’s eloquent just the same. At this point the CD really seems to be building towards a conclusion. The climax is acappella: “Just Like I Planned” is as splendid as it is ingenious. That’s “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” rubbing off on the album, I’ll wager. How many rock bands outside Queen attempt full-length acappella songs? You just need to blow off some steam at the end, and all this builds up to “Had Enough”, a bright track that reeks of Van Halen (or Hagar). It has a great bottom end and some final thrilling chops from Pete Lesperance. This completes the journey of Mood Swings, which is an apt title given the diversity of the songs. Not only are the tunes all great numbers, but the album does have a start, middle and ending. There are sentimental moments, and action packed interludes. It’s more than the sum of its parts, and that’s one reason why Harem Scarem keep having to live up to it.So much so, that they even went as far as re-recording Mood Swings. According to Superdekes, in his review of Mood Swings, “In 2013 Harem wanted to release a 20th anniversary edition of Mood Swings, but their old record company said ‘Nope’. So Harry and Pete said ‘Fuck you’ and re-recorded Mood Swings with three extra new songs.” That’s why today you can look for the original Mood Swings, or the reasonable facsimile and update, Mood Swings II. It is so close to the original in sound and even lead vocals that conspiracy theorists believe that Harry Hess has indeed finally solved time travel.No matter which version you ultimately choose, Mood Swings will continue to reveal new joys every time you play it. If there is such a thing as a perfect hard rock record (smart, memorable, surprising, exemplary) then Mood Swings is one of them.

Line Up:

Harry Hess - Vocals & Keyboards
Pete Lesperance - Guitars & Vocals
Mike Gionet - Bass & Vocals
Darren Smith - Drums & Vocals

Programming - "The Web"
Evil B3 Organ - Rob Cooper

production:

Produced by Harry Hess and Pete Lesperance with Kevin Doyle
Recorded at Cabin Fever Studios
Engineered by Harry Hess and Kevin Doyle, Assistant Engineer - Steve Gardsen
Mixed by Kevin Doyle and Harry Hess at Sounds Interchange
Mastered by Stephen Marcussen at Precision Sound, Los Angeles, C.A., May 1993
Design - Stanford Communications
Photography - Andrew MacNaughtan

Tracklist:

01. Saviors Never Cry 4:00
02. No Justice 4:33
03. Stranger Than Love 3:57
04. Change Comes Around 4:59
05. Jealousy 4:08
06. Sentimental Boulevard 4:22
07. Mandy 1:53
08. Empty Promises 4:16
09. If There Was a Time 4:55
10. Just Like I Planned 3:16
11. Had Enough 3:54

+ Video "No Justice" (Official Video)

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