Harley Alexander – Universal Love | Album Review

When: 14/02/2014
Where: Poncho Records
Like/Love: LIKE
A couple months ago we checked out the new Walrus EP Glam Returns and really liked it. Now Poncho Records have got themselves another record with the new Harley Alexander LP Universal Love. Harley Alexander is the retweaked band formerly known as Sheepman, and this Canadian band delve in the sweet sounds of psychedelic pop to give us something that’s full of hot licks, smooth jams and a hint of eccentricity too.
Digital Citizens starts up Universal Love with a lady talking about stabbing people if they step out of line, which I didn’t think counted as displays of love but this is where the aforementioned eccentricity comes alive. A robotic male vocal leads the way while the track delivers lush sounds of pure psychedelic poppy goodness inbetween bouts of sweet grooves and melodies that are so nicely performed that it makes me believe I’m lying on a cloud that’s cuddling me gently with it’s nice fluffy arms. I’m very sleep deprived as you can tell.
F The Man is another standout track that features the smoothest instrumentation on the entire record as Harley Alexander draw it out to accompany the slower and softer vocal delivery perfectly. The vocals hit all kinds of high notes sporadicly to keep all kinds of hooks included and when these hooks mix with the hot licks of the reverb-heavy guitar, oh my goodness it’s hot stuff. This song is definitely my favourite on Universal Love, as it’s got all kinds of soul and funk thrown into the traditional psychedelic pop we’ve come to enjoy so far. The second half is a brilliant piece of two minutes as the song becomes all Flight Of The Conchords as ridiculous, sassy vocals say “fuck the man!” over and over for hilarious yet incredible listening.
It seems Harley Alexander put all the best parts of Universal Love in the closing half as the title track is a another finger snapping, jazzy track that ultilises the band’s knack for noodling sweet little guitar licks really well. The closing track Borg Fest is a tremendous way to end Universal Love as it’s anthemic feel delivers some huge atmospheres as well as some extra eccentricity to bring this whole wonderful listening experience full circle.
Universal Love is a great record with some fantastic songs and songs that keep everything flowing smoothly. It would have been nice to have a couple more tracks on the album as eight songs seem a little short these days, but certain tracks in F The Man, Borg Fest and the title track will mean I’ll be repeating it many more times in the future. For more music reviews, free downloads and fuck the mannnnnn check out Exploding Head Syndrome on Facebook and Twitter.



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