By Emma Cohen of Indie Band Guru
Following a move from the San Francisco area down to L.A., The Herms‘ have released their first new album in 10 years. Welcome All Tourists boasts their original style of punk meets classic indie.
The Herms are Back and Better than Ever
Opening the album is “Parades,” which sounds very much like “House of the Rising Sun” mixed with old Johnny Cash — it would be very much at home in a Quentin Tarantino film.
This atmosphere made me feel as if I was in the Mojave desert, wasting away among the sand. The most dire aspect of this piece is the guitar playing; it carries the song and is truly exceptional. The fast moving chord progression is difficult and involved a plethora of talent to achieve. An instrumental tune, “Parades” is stronger for it — it makes the song more free flowing and gives the listener a chance to make it about whatever they chose.
Unlike the former, the song “Cold Resistance” offers a much more typical band sound with all instruments and vocals incorporated. The vocals in this song sound washed out and like they were a challenge to sing. The added accordion sound, drums and piano generated some mixed messages with their classic rock urgency. The tune was repetitive but the vocal stylings weren’t, and its quite easy to understand the deeper meaning. I felt listening to “Cold Resistance” that there is beauty in madness.
In fact, each song on this recording seemed to teach me something new or open my eyes to something else. Much like a trip to the dessert opens one’s eyes to more of their inner self, the layers of music used in the album opened my eyes. The contrasting songs made me shift from different parts of the emotional spectrum quickly and abruptly but in doing so taught me how to better manage such feelings.
Welcome All Tourists, The Herms’ first recording in a decade, is so much more than music — it is the first step of a lifelong relationship with the group.