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The Pearl Harts – Love, Chaos Review

Spend your life in a sleep-deprived state and you too will be editing an e out of Harts for minutes. What a life, what a pain. At least if ever in that state there are twelve garage rock revival tracks to settle into as you do it. Love, Chaos has a loaded feel to it, the shots of madness mentioned but never acted out by The Pearl Harts on their second record. Five years on from their debut and the London-based duo could pass for the heart of the genre they find themselves dabbling in. Feel alive, and what better way to hold to this inspired living than with Baby Chaos, the hooks and beat of this Kirsty Lowery and Sara Leigh-Shaw-led sophomore piece are great fun.  

Even with their garage rock roots, there is a sense The Pearl Harts are more than labels. More hits through with a real reaction, a distant relative to Elastica’s hit Connection but with a demanding tension rather than an exposed longing. The Pearl Harts transition into Gold nicely, by this point a sense of pace is presented and a reliance on guitar is nodded toward. Even then, Hypocritical torpedoes expectations and reinvents what was becoming comfortable. Reactionary power like that is hard to come by but the typical and critical rhyming structure found there as the tracks begin to shorten is a nice change in pace. Ms Chanel racks up a knowing fixation on what gets people going. They know what their listeners want but weigh up whether they deserve it.  

When they do dispel the rage against the machine and fire up with the power-pop stylings of Ride Away, a track which gives into its repetition of title and makes good on it, The Pearl Harts come to life. Love, Chaos is at its best when throwing down sickeningly independent guitar riffs and pairing them with lyrics which feel similar in individualism. It happens more than expected and it is reassuring to hear The Pearl Harts are confident not just in themselves but in crafting a solid set of tracks which make their audience feel the same. Sinking into those revival tones comes Susie Come Over, the fractured moments within Love, Chaos are familiar but never placeable beyond More. The Pearl Harts are still implementing their own voice, and do so well with Love, Chaos.  

Still a way to go, but most bands are still finding themselves and The Pearl Harts are making better progress than some. Tracks like Ride Away and the aptly titled, electronic-heavy Like Electric are markers of such quality. Wild Me has all the signs of those next steps, the creeping bassline and the assured tones Lowery has through her vocal presence which is a winning pairing for the intonations and expectations of this next step. Comin’ Down does anything but, a euphoric end to a promising album stuffed full of familiar but fresh sounds and wailing guitar work which lingers on the brain with a forwardness to it. Their highs come from the repetition of lyrics, from the sickeningly grand guitar work on album high Crazy As Hell. All of it comes together with strong form, an interesting intensity which comes from the simplicity and the rage which drives garage rock to its best moments.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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