Some bands are so unique in their aesthetic makeup and vision that they break the mould before it has time to set. Harmony is one such beast: a prophetic fever-dream of Australian Gothic gospel as written by iconic rust-and-bone wordsmith Tom Lyngcoln, blooming from weekend sojourns with wife Alex Kastaniotis to encompass rhythm from Jon Chapple and three-part harmonic vocals from Amanda Roff, Quinn Veldhuis and Erica Dunn.
Carpetbombing picks up where Harmony left off, providing 15 more forlorn tales of heart-rending anguish, shards of bile-seared truth and slivers of hope in a roiling sea of common day maladies and self-made destruction. Yet the bar is raised from the get-go with the shiver-inducing spoken word introduction The Closing Of The Day, delivered with weathered brio by national treasure Don Walker. And so it continues, as Harmony live up to their name in every sense, from the old-time reverie of Water Runs Cold, the melancholy of Diminishing Returns and the cataclysmic end-of-times reckoning that is Cold Storage echoing from beyond like a half-captured Bible Belt radio station.
It’s slow, measured, and incredibly bleak at times, but Carpetbombing is an outstanding product of love and creativity, a séance on a humid summer afternoon. The power of Harmony is in their collateral hushed charisma that bursts into a cathartic baptism of fire, where self-flagellation and bloodletting are true sources of redemption. And there is the key – there is redemption at the end, a reward all the more deserving due to the glimpses into the darker recesses of the human struggle to survive that the album gives.