Band Website: www.harvestcode.com
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 2009
This is the first official release from the Barcelona based Harvest, a quintet consisting of Monique van der Kolk (vocals), Jordi Amela (keyboards), Jordi Prats (guitars), Roger Vilageliu (bass) and Alex Ojea (drums). And I must say what a pleasant release Underground Community truly is. The band point out on their website, that their intention is to create music without any boundaries that satisfies their personal creative desires; as such they’ve incorporated some disparate influences, mixed them all up and then delivered music that is uniquely their own.
Underground Community consists of 13 tracks, most of which are in the three, four and five minute range with a couple others a bit longer. Stylistically the music of Harvest is a mix of Hogarth era Marillion and bands like Karnataka or perhaps Mostly Autumn. These are songs with an emphasis on melody with no claim to musical complexity. Instead the vocal delivery is passionate and instrumental virtuosity is heartfelt. I would also say that Monique’s vocals are what drew the Karnataka comparisons. Her softer, breathy delivery is very appealing and literally draws you into each musical selection. Track one “Autumn Leaves” [3:44] is an up-tempo piece that deftly balances guitars, keyboards and vocals presenting itself as quite a mainstream pop-rock track with a little something extra in the background. And that seems to be the musical approach throughout, simple on the surface but full of surprises underneath. Progressive for Harvest is more about taking a straight forward song and then molding and shaping it into something along the way. The twists and turns in their music are very subtle but they are there. Take a track like “Mara” [4:51] which starts off with a more aggressive vocal delivery and chugging guitars before exploding into a grander panoramic central section. The music has a driving rhythm section with lots of discreet keyboard sounds and unusual drumming patterns buried in the background. On top of that the tune goes through a major shift in texture around the three and half minute mark before a big finish. Its music that’s created in a similar fashion to modern Marillion; moody and dynamic. They even do a cover of Marillion’s “Waiting to Happen” [6:17].
If you enjoy the music of the band’s mentioned I think you’ll really like the music of Harvest. Their compositions hold up really well over repeated listening, and I think that’s that subtle proggy complexity underneath the surface doing the trick, offering something a little more each time you listen to it. Congratulations to Harvest…Underground Community is a job well done!