We Are Harlot
We Are Harlot
It’s probably safe to say that the only reason anyone has even given the band We Are Harlot a second glance is because vocalist Danny Worsnop abandoned the rest of the metalcore icons in Asking Alexandria in order to pursue his side project full time. Unfortunately, We Are Harlot’s self-titled debut release is nowhere near as innovative as the first Asking Alexandria record; however, it was written by someone who believes it is.
Whereas Asking Alexandria was an incredibly original band in a genre that can so easily sound like every other band in that realm, We Are Harlot was an original idea that resulted in absolutely zero innovation whatsoever. And that’s because We Are Harlot is basically Danny Worsnop playing dress up. He’s a British guy with a background in metalcore that is now prancing about in cowboy hats and singing about Santa Fe (“Love For The Night”) on tracks that sound like they were rejected by Lynyrd Skynyrd and utilize so many guitar solos that I’m starting to thank the fact that solos faded away around the same time as grunge.
So, from Worsnop’s previous fame, what do we know about him? Well, as his reputation and publicized antics have all proven, Worsnop loves “women and cocaine and bottles for days” and he got to tell us all about it on tracks like “One More Night.” This pathetic lyrical effort is one of the few instances in which Worsnop’s now damaged voice (probably due to all of the women, cocaine, and bottles for days) transitions back into unclean vocals in moments where adding actual emotion to his words might strain his voice more than just screaming them. So, yes, we get that Worsnop likes debauchery. Want to tell us something else we already know? “I’ll live ‘til I die,” he repeats in the chorus. Yes, you will. Did you also know that water is wet?
While Worsnop’s ego may still be a forerunner to the whole We Are Harlot jam, we also get a chance to learn a lot about Worsnop’s lady friend. In fact, about 90% of the album is dedicated to her. Things we know about Danny Worsnop’s girlfriend: she “should be easier to leave” (“Easier To Leave”); she’s “got something worth exploring” (“Dancing On Nails”); “she’s going to eat you alive” and “she’s not an angel/but she takes me somewhere close to heaven” (“Never Turn Back”). While singing about the one you love is great, having almost every single track focus on that point from an over-sexualized and redundant angle is tiresome. The only things that separate any of the cliché love mush apart are the excessive guitar solos and strange, yet enjoyable, bluesy keyboards randomly sprinkled in throughout the album.
Worsnop aside, We Are Harlot does have several points of merit. For one, every track is rather catchy. Though they may all blend into one another, the bass line on “Flying Too Close To The Sun” will stick with you for days and the solo on “Never Turn Back” totally rips in the old school way We Are Harlot were aiming for. Where the album falls apart is its dependency to fit a mold that’s already been cracked because it’s been used so many times. You can’t write arena-worthy rock ballads like “I Tried” and “Denial” because Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Kiss, Van Halen, Guns ‘n’ Roses, and Poison have already beat you to it, and did it better.
The fact of the matter is Worsnop and the rest of his new gang want to be Aerosmith level rock stars from the 1970s and 1980s in a time that just doesn’t care about that kind of music or level of fame any longer.
(Natasha Van Duser)