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Harem Scarem - United

The Hog Town heroes are back with another amazing album of killer melodic hard rock. Beauty!If you're not a fan of Harem Scarem, you're just not a fan of world-class, melodic hard rock. Cuz that's what the Canadian band has been putting out for closing in on 30 years now. Their 14th (discounting the Mood Swings 20th anniversary remake) studio album, United, is out now and it is everything fans could want.

One of the knocks you hear about melodic hard rock is that it's basically pop music with distortion. But there's an art to crafting songs with catchy riffs and lush choruses that don't all sound the same. And right out of the gate the dynamic duo of singer Harry Hess and guitarist Pete Lesperance (I'm betting they prefer not to be called "Hessperance") give a master class in such discipline with the anthemic title track. This is the stuff. From there it's what you expect from the genre vets: flashy guitar solos and fills, lush harmonized vocals, all within exhilarating melodies that just plain rock. This kind of music is made for live settings, where the energy a huge crowd bolsters the feeling of a rousing musical event to remember. Here's hoping for a US tour in the near future. If you get the chance, go. You will not be disappointed.

The Bottom Line: Melodic hard rock is an evergreen subgenre. There's always a faction of music fans that like their catchy pop songs to have some crunchy bite to them, especially with a heaping helping of melodic shred thrown in for the fretheads. Harem Scarem has been crushing that formula for decades and their latest album is both mature and outright fun at the same time. Score!

Tracks To Sing Out Loud In Your Car: United, Here Today Gone Tomorrow, One of Life's Mysteries, Bite The Bullet

- Genghis would do terrible things to see this amazing group live...

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