Monday, December 12, 2022

THE HARA Bring Energy And Talent With New EP ‘Okay That’s Me’

Mancunian pop-punk outfit THE HARA boast slick, refined songwriting capabilities on their brand new EP ‘Okay That’s Me’. 

With debut album ‘Survival Mode’ having just been announced for release in March of next year, the band is eager to start gathering momentum. This latest release is the product of a run of singles (three to be exact) that make up the bulk of this new project. In fact, the EP even has the slated cover of the upcoming album, suggesting this four-track effort offers sizable insight into the group’s plans for their future work. 

The EP in and of itself could be a standalone effort, being punchy, succinct, and showing consummate musicianship and songwriting. It is phenomenally well-produced and draws on a variety of musical influences such as acts like IDLESMachine Gun Kelly and even - as the title of their 2021 single ‘The Fool & The Thief’ would suggest - Wolfmother. The type of heavy-hitting electroacoustic fusion they employ is often a difficult balance to strike in compositional terms - yet they manage, seemingly with ease, to not overcrowd their songs whilst retaining engaging dynamics of loud and quiet. 

The eponymous opening track deals with self-acceptance over succumbing to social norms. Frontman Josh Taylor takes a bold stance on this matter, expressing his intense dislike for tattoos and proper employment with the lyrics, “I got a couple tattoos and they hurt like shit / What am I missing? / Are you listening? / I haven't got a real job and I smoke sometimes / What am I missing? / Are you listening?”. Though maybe not the most prescient of societal concerns, they add to the broader scope of the band’s identity - unapologetic individualism and vulnerability. Some onlookers might find their make-up clad, high-budget TikTok campaigns a bit one-dimensional, but this track reaffirms unabashed confidence in their image. 

This theme continues across the EP, shining bright in ‘Talk To The Manager’. Chant-like repetition of the titular phrase follows a cycle of “You're not cool enough… / You’re not big enough… / You’re not rich enough…”, with every new line bringing a new, dull adjective. By relaying the idea that corporate structure and referral becomes a way of organising and expressing your own life, they satirise it. It’s smart and effective, showing their sense of humour and, again, that defiant individuality.

THE HARA’s ‘Okay That’s Me’ is available on all streaming platforms.

Will Kemp

Image: ‘Okay That’s Me’ Official EP Cover

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