Weed Yer Owne Garden
(Grier X Industries)
by Jericho Brown
When I added this album to my iTunes, the genre came up as "Acid Blues Punk." This is our first clue when it comes to The Harvest; they are a band in search of a sound. In the meantime, they are using every sound they can get their hands on.
I can't keep from comparing these guys to other bands. There is some Doors in there and some Led Zeppelin, even a little Stones. The main difference is that this recording really hides, nearly mutes, the lead vocalist. I don't know if this is an engineering error, an error on the pre-release I was issued, or if the band isn't confident in the singing talents of their vocalist. I found it distracting. While I can hear many other bands and influences, I don't hear anything that screams out "This is the sound of The Harvest!" If you are going to play the Blues, you are nearly required to have a unique sound in your front man.
Having said all of that, the album is listenable, even enjoyable. It's like a fast ride on a twisty stretch of highway with a standard transmission. You are constantly switching gears and swerving in new directions. One second there is an acoustic guitar leading the way, then a punkish break out and back into a ballad. You will definitely be kept on your toes. The sound is rough and raw. This band is young and you can feel the vibrant youthfulness. They require polish and they need a little passion, maybe a little pain. A child might be able to sing the Blues, but first he's got to feel the Blues before he can convey it to us. I suggest a few bad break-ups, a week of true homelessness and a brush with addiction - then they will have felt the Blues!
This album certainly isn't bad coming from what appears to be a group of high school kids. They have some musical chops. They need to refine a sound and get their lead singer up to speed.
Take a chance. Grab this album and embrace the future.