Band members with side projects can quite often be a touchy subject as it can be quite a job keeping your enthusiasm for both bands going – just ask Rob Halford – and when the said band member leaves the main project behind it doesn’t always sit well with former bandmates and fans. As of January of this year Asking Alexandria frontman Danny Worsnop officially handed in his notice with that band to continue his career with We Are Harlot, the band he formed with former Sebastian Bach guitarist Jeff George, and their debut album is now being released on Roadrunner Records, which isn’t a bad start for their new venture.
Ploughing a slightly different furrow to Asking Alexandria, We Are Harlot are a bit more raunchy, a little looser and a bit more rock n’ roll while still retaining a distinctly melodic metal edge and boasting an arsenal of hook-laden songs that should get the proverbial fist pumping and the hips gyrating, if not driving you completely wild. Danny Worsnop is obviously the centre of attention and his voice is everywhere on this album, so much so that the majority of the music plays second fiddle to the vocal hooks that permeate every song (although there is a mighty beat down during the otherwise quite poppy ‘Denial’ that totally swamps the singer and the metalcore growls he throws in).
Despite the high energy levels and sexy melodies it is when the band drop the pace a bit that they become more compelling, like on the bluesy power ballad ‘I Tried’ that is equal parts Lynyrd Skynyrd swagger and Aerosmith arena rock singalong. Worsnop adds a little grit to his vocals here and the song benefits from the emotion, as does the mid-paced album closer ‘Someday’. Lyrically the album is a little bit one-note, with nearly every song about love, the perils of love, falling in love, losing love, not having any love… you get the idea.
With a band that seems to be quite rooted in rock music tradition a little bit less of the sex and more of the drugs & rock n’ roll would have been welcome and perhaps may have bumped the rating up a bit but otherwise “We Are Harlot” is a flawed but promising debut that, as long as the band build on what they have and don’t rest on their laurels or rely on the ego of their frontman, could be the start of something interesting.