Haram: What Do You See? 7"

Toxic State Records


Debut EP from NYC's Haram!

Our take: Debut 7" from this hardcore band out of New York City. The first thing you'll notice about this band is that the lyrics and much of the text on the record are in Arabic (with English translations provided), and while in translation the lyrics seem impressionistic rather than didactic, at least part of the point here seems to be putting the members' Arabic background at the forefront of the band's aesthetic, which is very cool. Musically, this is also great, with a tighter, denser sound than a lot of other bands on Toxic State. To me, Haram have a very classic European hardcore sound... I don't know a lot of punk rock sung in Arabic, but the cadences of the vocals here remind me a lot of some Italian bands like Wretched or Finnish bands like Terveet Kadet. The music is fierce enough to live up to those comparisons as well, though there's also a lot of semi-melodic lead guitar that reminds me a bit of bands like Funeral Oration, or maybe the more ambitious sound of the last Wretched 12". This also has one of the most beautiful packaging jobs that Toxic State has ever done, and that's really saying something. My only complaint about this 7" would be that it's so short... it hints that Haram might be one of those bands that make their own universe and invite the listener in, but there's just not quite enough raw material here for me to get fully immersed in that world. But I'm very much looking forward to (hopefully) seeing these ideas fleshed out and extended on future releases.
Tags: 10s hardcore noisy nyc punk recommended