"Change the World"

By Colonel Angus

I have not really paid attention to HAREM SCAREM since 1993’s "Mood Swings".  I was in a local record store and the owner put in that CD and from the first notes of “Saviors Never Cry”, I was hooked.  Life has a way of changing rapidly and for multiple reasons that I won’t go into here, the band fell off my proverbial radar so I didn’t follow them with each subsequent release.  Well, as some sort of cosmic sign, I was given the opportunity to review their newest album "Change the World".  Having only lived with these songs for a few days, I can honestly say that the band still knows how to write melodic rock tunes with tons of catchy hooks.

The record starts off in fine fashion with the title track and Harry Hess still has a great voice.  His vocal performance throughout the disk is superb and while other vocalists in the melodic rock world have had to look at their peak in the rearview mirror, Hess can stall tall knowing he still has “the voice”.  Even though the disk starts off great, things get better as the record progresses.  “Aftershock” is a tune I would hold up as one of their best.  The heavier “The Death of Me” has a nice groove throughout with a catchy chorus and the rocking “Fire & Gasoline” (which is second to the last track) continues the quality song writing.  If you are looking for well-crafted melodic rock tunes that will stick in your head (in a good way), look no further.  Even though I’m not a ballad fan, HAREM SCAREM does it so well that I don’t skip those cuts and I actually go back to them.  “Mother of Invention” is a prime example of ballads that are well constructed with some great guitar work thrown in for good measure.  Even “No Me Without You” is good even though the lyrics are a bit sappy but I can look past that because the song is written and performed so well.  While I mentioned Hess’ performance on "Change the World", I have to also give special mention to Pete Lesperance’s guitar work throughout.  I really enjoy his lead work and he shines on many of the tracks with “Aftershock” and “Mother of Invention” being stand-outs.

I can’t believe that is has been 27 years since I first heard HAREM SCAREM but I am so grateful I was given the opportunity to review "Change the World".  I needed a reminder of what I have been missing and Harem Scarem did not disappoint.  I will have to go back and check out their other releases after I purchase this disk at the beginning of March.   While I don’t think this album will change the world, it has changed “my” world a little by reconnecting me with HAREM SCAREM.