Harlet - 25 Gets A Ride

This band features a young Todd Michael Hall on vocals (Riot, Jack Starr’s Burning Star), originally recorded in 1988, this is US power metal as it was, and as it is now as I listen to this great vinyl re-issue, it’s fitting for that time period. There is an unashamed love and lyric content relating to sex and women and tracks like ‘Cold of the Night’ and ‘Lit and Burning’ sound like Hall’s early influence was the first couple of Queensryche releases, I certainly hear some early Geoff Tate sounds here and there.

Song wise, it’s pretty much standard US metal, not that amazing if the truth be told, but it is a style I still enjoy emphatically to this day.

In addition to the songs on the re-release come four further tracks that were demoed recorded in 1990 but never released. These show a change of pace and style. These are much more accessible in terms of big arena filling US hard rock/metal, something a little touch heavier than the sunset strip scene although I would definitely not class these tracks as part of that scene. On these tracks, its clear Hall’s vocal had developed, they are a lot stronger and more controlled. Gone are the random power screams and in come more suitable placing of the said power screams, with much more projection. The style no doubt changed to try to develop more of a following as was popular at the time. A track like ‘Alive, Loose and Dangerous’ is a touch more edgy, it has a Lizzy Borden style to the music. Of course, for the time, you have to take the lyrics with a pinch of salt now in this current age…”women be warned we hunt tonight…you’ll have the time of your life” etc.! I wonder if this is why Harlet were a little apprehensive about re-releasing this material as the liner notes suggest. Who knows? But in any case, I still find this a relevant release.

For all it heritage and introduction to one of the top singers of the past and present, Harlet had some decent ideas, given a better recording environment and time, the songs may have turned out a touch fresher. They are not stale, but they are clearly recorded in a way that doesn’t really fulfil their full potential. In summary, go a check this out, it’s a cool issue, the vinyl issue here is stunning with plenty of background information to support what the band were all about and a must for fans of bands like Lizzy Borden, Helstar, Crimson Glory and early Queensryche or similar.

  1. Raging Eyes  
  2. Don't Stop Now  
  3. With A Stranger  
  4. Cold Of The Night  
  5. Take Your Chances  
  6. Father  
  7. Lit And Burning 
  8. Faintly Living  
  9. Bought - N - Paid For  
  10. Lazy Sunday 
  11. In The Puss 
  12. Alive, Loose & Dangerous 
  13. Individual We Stand