by Tim Den
With idols like Kiss It Goodbye, Trial, and Botch, Harkonen aims to be the next noisecore kings of the Northwest (wasn’t Kiss It Goodbye from NJ?). This trio of young men (still in high school when the band assembled in ’96) strives to be as “sonically devastating” and “emotionally poignant” as their forerunners… but there’s just one problem: the forerunners weren’t all that “devastating” or “emotional” to begin with (okay, except Botch). I never understood how messily-composed noisecore was supposed to induce awe and gasps when it’s just dragged out, distorted fuzz trying to copy Eyehategod. Once in a blue moon it’s done well (by the likes of Today is the Day, the aforementioned Botch, and Deadguy), but it’s such a rare occurrence that I can’t understand why anyone would take the chance. Anybody can grip a guitar neck with eagle-claw fingers and pummel the strings while it’s feeding back. Just because your favorite bands made sense of it doesn’t mean you can.