UK ska-punks Harijan releasing long-awaited debut album (watch the “Downer” video)
TNSrecords is a UK not-for-profit DIY punk and ska label, home to great bands like Faintest Idea (who we recently highlighted), PI$$ER, Brassick, Knife Club, and Harijan. Harijan were initially around between 2003 and 2010, but they broke up before ever recording a full-length album, and now they're back to finally release one, self-titled and due December 18 (pre-order).
"Not recording an album was something that haunted us during our hiatus," the band said. "So to finally have the monkey off our back is a huge relief. We are massively proud of it... our 13 biggest tracks produced splendidly by Kurt Wood at Corner House Recordings. Musically it is a heavy and dark skapunk/skacore dub-reggae adventure brimming with catchy melancholy melody and harmonies. The lyrics are politically charged with much social commentary and soul searching."
The label adds that while Harijan may be a new name to some, they've long been part of the TNS family (and released a split with John Player Specials on TNS in 2008). They write:
If any band epitomises the early years of TNS it is perhaps Harijan. In the mid-2000s Harijan became an iconic band in the growing Manchester scene with their distinctive mix of skacore, reggae, punk and Mike's distinctive vocal delivery. The band regularly tore up gigs for Manchester promoters such as TNS, Bomb Ibiza and Pumpkin, proving to be a band with huge crossover appeal for a variety of audiences.
Whilst they may be a new name to many, their influence on the UK ska punk scene is huge. Harijan deserve to be heard once again and are a band which ska music deserves. On this, their first full length album, Harijan create a brooding and contemplative music, music which harmonises perfectly with these bleak times. Their music is a logical evolution of the sound of early 1980’s Coventry, infused with the acerbic bite of 30 or so intervening years of underground punk rock. It is ska music which completely bypasses sun-drenched goofy Californian takes on the ska sound and provides an honest representation of contemporary urban Britain from the perspective of these much-loved scene veterans.
The first single from the new album is "Downer," which the band says is "a song about having a bad day... a very bad day... when all faith seems lost... and the only thing left to do is examine the depths of your soul to conclude nothing can be done. The rest of the album manages (just about) to exude positive messages of hope... however Downer is the stand out negative track on the album that refuses to embrace any positivity!!"
Musically, "Downer" leans on the gritty punk side of ska-punk and ska-core (as TNS said, not sun-drenched or goofy), and it's as catchy as it is raucous and heavy. It comes with a video made up of old live footage, which premieres in this post. Check it out below.