Harpoon has been variously pigeonholed as grind, powerviolence and dronery. To be honest, I've no idea what any of those are, but the bottom line is 'Deception Among Birds' (the meaning of which is?) is not something you'd take home to meet your mum.
It is a grinding raw-edged dollop of thrashy agit rock that rages with righteous anger, bullying and cajoling with no sound reason for doing so other than to threaten you and yours with a jolly good kicking. It's a shame really because these boys can motor.
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This album has such a raw edge it could saw a log in two, and they don't bugger about trying to be clever, just putting their heads down and going for it. There are some cracking ideas too. For instance, opener 'To The Tall Trees' leaves the traps as if the devil himself has a hard-on for its tail and, just when you think it's getting a bit monotonous, it drops several gears almost into doom territory. The clever bit is the track stays in a groove.
'Dreadnought' has a Foo Fighters thing about it and 'Troglodytes Delight' features a clean vocal that is sweet, sweet relief from the incensed shouting throughout the rest of the album.
Harpoon has three problems to sort out. The first is that 'Deception Among Birds' lacks depth. After a while, the album becomes monotonous, its eight tracks becoming pretty much indistinguishable from each other. The continuously shouty and ultimately annoying vocal just serves to further highlight the album's samey qualities.
The second problem is that there are outfits out there in the big bad world that do this sort of agit stuff a lot better and with more style and imagination. The third problem is Harpoon are obviously more than capable of creating an album that could blow your head clean off, but they are still to do so. Why is that then?
On the plus side, 'Deception Among Birds' has enough quality about it to avoid sounding like the fractious children of insurrectionist idiots but, overall, a disappointing master class in tetchiness.