By Professor Jocko

When it comes to music these days, it seems to me as though mainstream media is trying to sell you the idea of a diversified spectrum of youth and culture. That may be the case if you’re still in high school, but if you’re not listening to the radio, and seeking music you really like, will seek elsewhere. I was listening to the radio the other day, and the slew of songs reminded me of some kind of Kidz Bop album with no heart; just a bunch of synthesized, gutless crap. I guess my point here is that hard rock is still around and in full force, as seen with Hark’s 2nd studio release titled "Machinations".

This all-guns-a-blazin’ LP has everything you would expect as you delve into the first song called “Fortune Favours The Insane”. I must say that although this song does deliver a heavy melodic weight, it does seem to have some progressive qualities when we consider the amount of rhythm carried through its entirety. Although the clash of all members of the band is a lot happening at once, it definitely grabs your attention and keeps you wanting more. Progressing further into the album, you will notice that this apparent energy is solidified with the contributions of Tom Shortt (Bass) and Joe Harvatt (Guitars) who maintain the continuity with the band’s impressive sound as they change up keys, tempos, and rhythms enough to keep it interesting.

As you continue through the consecutive tracks, two things become clear; the first is that there is a noticeable pattern contained within each song, where the main formula is based on rhythm. The next is that the vocals of Jimbo Isaac maintain a high level of consistency…perhaps a little too much in my opinion. What I mean is that that although each song has a necessary musical variety, there isn’t much range where vocal pitch is concerned.  It seems as though it needs more contrast with lower and higher parts in order to compliment the music. In many ways, the album in its entirety reminds me of Corrosion Of Conformity; mainly from the Deliverance and Wiseblood albums. Search up "Albatross" and "Clean My Wounds" and you’ll hear some striking similarities. 

 If you listen carefully, there are several subtle additions of carefully placed syncopations that allow each song to breathe and allow for some heavier guitar and bass grooves. Tracks such as “Son of Pythagoras” and “Disintegrate” have some memorable riffs and guitar parts that give the song life with a flow of their own.  Overall, “Machinations” seems more timely than merely trendy, thanks to the jagged dovetailing of the guitar, and slightly stunted rock arrangements. The last track on the LP is title “Purge” which sincerely exposes the distended guitar solo as voices go rippling across the surface of it all, making it an appropriate triumphant climax .