I wasn’t terribly familiar with Harm’s Way prior to getting the promo for Posthuman, but I was somewhat aware of the buzz their previous album Rust had garnered, so I decided to give them a try. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Posthuman is a burly-as-fuck collection of non-stop mosh riffs mixed with electronic elements that wouldn’t be out of place on a late-nineties Godflesh record. It’s an odd combination to be sure, but I’ll be damned if Harm’s Way doesn’t make it work.
Pretty much everything about Harm’s Way, from their bulldozing riffage to their lead singer who looks like The Incredible Hulk but with white skin and tattoos, is intimidating as all hell. But beneath Posthuman‘s surly demeanor lies a thoughtful and intelligent lyrical approach that focuses on such topics as overpopulation and mankind’s over-reliance on technology. Harm’s Way’s assault on the senses is equal parts brains and brawn, and they aren’t afraid to drop a little knowledge on your candy-ass while they proceed to pummel it into the ground.
I used the term “burly” earlier, and that really is the best word possible to describe Harm’s Way’s sound. Will Putney’s production makes the band sound positively huge; listening to Posthuman feels like having someone lob cinder blocks at your skull repeatedly for thirty-four minutes, and I mean that in the best way possible. Imagine Fear Factory circa Demanufacture getting into a Roddy Piper vs. Keith David style fistfight with Destroy the Machines-era Earth Crisis and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’re getting yourself into.
With Posthuman, Harm’s Way has found a way to expand both musically and lyrically upon a much-maligned style of hardcore that is often viewed as lowest common denominator. Provided that they can continue to innovate while retaining the near-frightening levels of intensity and brutality displayed on this album, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to bulldoze their way to the top of the heap, leaving a trail of bloodied and broken bodies in their wake. Consider yourselves warned.
Harm’s Way kicks off their tour with the mighty Ringworm this weekend. Go check it out if you feel like getting annihilated in the pit. Tour dates are below.
Harm’s Way tour dates w/ Ringworm, Queensway and Vein
2/17 Cleveland, OH @ The Foundry
2/18 Toronto, ON @ Sneaky Dees
2/19 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
2/20 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
2/21 Worcester, MA @ Middle East
2/22 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
2/23 Richmond, VA @ Canal Club
2/24 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
2/25 Nashville, TN @ The End
2/26 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
2/27 Tampa, FL @ Transitions
3/1 New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
3/2 Dallas, TX @ Dirty 30
3/3 Houston, TX @ Houston Underground
3/4 San Antonio, TX @ Jack’s
3/6 Mesa, AZ @ Nile Theatre
3/7 Las Vegas, NV @ American Legion Post 8
3/8 Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver
3/9 Berkeley, CA @ Gilman
3/10 Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
3/11 Los Angeles, CA @ Hi Hat
3/14 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
3/15 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
3/16 Kansas City, MO @ Davey’s Uptown
3/17 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
3/18 Pontiac, MI @ The Pike Room