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Harem Scarem
Live At The Phoenix
December 2015
Released: 2015, Frontiers Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Canadian melodic rock royalty, Harem Scarem has been recording incredible music for over twenty years, despite the numerous ups and downs of the music industry. The band has been remarkably consistent, proving there’s always a place in the world for well-written hard rock music. While touring for their 2014 album, 13, the band decided to record a live album & video in their hometown of Toronto; thus we have LIVE AT THE PHOENIX.

Featuring a good helping of the 13 album, plus a huge cross-section of the band’s back catalogue, the 20 tracks on LIVE AT THE PHOENIX easily capture the pure melodic rock essence of Harem Scarem. Harry Hess’ vocals are still some of the best and most passionate in the business, and the songs show that the band has always had a knack for writing songs that stay with you. Of course, to my ears that band’s secret weapon has always been the harmony vocals and with the return of drummer/vocalist Darren Smith (yes, the same guy who also fronts Red Dragon Cartel), and the still-vital vocals of guitarist Pete Lesperance, they are in great shape on that front. In fact, it’s the vocals that impress the most over the course of this live set; it’s truly impressive how they pull off the intricate harmonies live.

As I alluded to above, the set list covers all facets of the Harem Scarem sound, from the classic MOOD SWINGS material, to the recent album, and even includes lesser-appreciated cuts from the band’s mid-‘90s albums. It’s all played with fire and the occasional bit of humour and your really get the impression that these guys still love what they do.

I’ve really got nothing to complain about here…this is a must have for melodic rock fans.
Track Listing

Disc 1:
1. Garden of Eden
2. Hard to Love
3. Saviors Never Cry
4. Dagger
5. Distant Memory
6. The Midnight Hours
7. Mandy
8. Killing Me
9. Slowly Slipping Away
10. Troubled Times

Disc 2:
1. Sentimental Blvd.
2. Turn Around
3. Stranger Than Love
4. All I Need
5. Saints and Sinners
6. So Blind
7. Human Nature
8. Voice of Reason
9. Change Comes Around
10. No Justice


Harry Hess: Vocals, Guitar
Pete Lesperance: Guitar, Backing Vocals
Stan Miczek: Bass
Darren Smith: Drums, Vocals



Other reviews

» Mood Swings II
by Erich

» Thirteen
by Erich

» Live At The Phoenix
by Waspman

» United
by John Haseltine

» United
by Erich

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