Reviewed on 18 July 2012
Rated 7 out of 10
Key Track: Key Track: Occupied Tears
For most, a stint in rural New Zealand would prove to be a calming experience. But then again, Serj Tankian isn’t exactly one to stand around looking at sheep.
After witnessing his New Zealand neighbor’s property set ablaze by a group of unruly teenagers, Tankian immediately prophesized Harakiri (Japanese for ‘mass suicide’) upon the world. Then decided to make an album about it.
It’s pretty obvious from the first track that Harakiri has a consistent environmental theme running throughout – but the vocal venom doesn’t stop there. Tankian reserves a special dose for those pesky corrupt governments, Snooki from Jersey Shore, and pretty much the entire democratic first world.
Luckily, solid production allows the singer’s familiar vocal cords to sit well on top of the mix, while the standard thick guitar riffs and punchy drums blend nicely with an occasional synth, sitar or distant sounding piano.
One of the more surprising moments of the album is the electro-inspired beat that kicks off “Occupied Tears”. Serj has stated that he had been hitting up his iPad as a songwriting tool, and hearing the track grow from the inorganic confines of a drum machine into a swinging jazz breakdown is probably the record’s highlight.
At its best, Harakiri is an energetic, diverse mix of sounds that will please fans of Serj as an artist and activist. Although nowhere near as intense as his work with System Of A Down, the album does enough to suggest that the vocalist isn’t quite done with his peculiar form of headbanging and hellraising just yet.
- Adam Slater
Recent Record Reviews
Released through Warner, 2014
When The English Riviera by Metronomy was released in 2011, it propelled the four-piece to the forefront of the UK’s electropop scene. Three years later and...
6 days ago
Released through Dine Alone, 2014
Providing a sense of familiarity with his distinct vocals, Chris Carrabba, who many fans will remember from emo sensation Dashboard Confessional, embarks on his latest musical...
3 days ago
Released through Nuffsaid Records, 2014
Returning after an extended hiatus on the solo front, Delta has carefully constructed his comeback LP with extensive attention to the lyrical detail. The Adelaide bred,...
1 week ago
Released through Wichita / Mushroom, 2014
Wichita Recordings is a label synonymous with fantastic indie artists. So, before listening to Peggy Sue, there is some anticipation of greatness. Taking into account that...
1 week ago