Mythopoeia 7" / CDR

First press

Second press

1. Mythopoeia
2. Sins On Sleeves
3. Hounded By Callous Decree (live)
4. Black Hole South West (live)

3, 4 CDR only live tracks

Ex. Taint frontman Jimbob Isaac returns with his new unit Hark. Their debut seven inch 'Mythopoeia' is released on July 30th, through the Destructure/SuperFi labels. The Welsh progressive-power-sludge trio carry Taint's torch forward, passed on from their legacy that began in 1994. With fresh chops and almighty riff power, Hark continue to fuse punk attack with Sabbathian dirge, and decorate post-whatever angularities with classic rock flourish. While Isaac's vocals expand on his tried and tested palette, his lyrics continue to shatter prose with bleak metaphor and acerbic spittle. Former Whyteleaf rhythm section Nikolai Ribnikov and Simon Bonwick, the Hark engine, bring an OCD approach to song craft, and endlessly creative pummel. Their dynamic chops, and blood lust for riffs meld with Isaac's honed and equally determined musical vision. 'Mythopoeia' is strictly limited to 300 copies. Each sleeve is lovingly hand screened, and numbered by Jimbob, who is also the creator of the suitably crushing artwork. With plans for recording their debut full length at the end of the year, Hark will be making every effort in 2013 to make a mark as slab-like as their logo.

Released 01/08/12.

Co-released with:

1st press 7" ltd. to 300 copies on black.
2nd press 7" ltd. to 300 copies on orange.
CDR ltd. to 100 copies.

Art by Jimbob Isaac.

Hark | Jimbob, Nikolai, Simon | Bandcamp | Facebook

Sleeping Shaman
For those who got their unique brand of angular power sludge rock it was a sad day back in September 2010 when Welsh three piece Taint called time on a project that spanned 16 years, 3 albums and numerous EPs. For those still craving a little of that magic, good news comes in the form of Hark, an angular power sludge rock trio, fronted by ex Taint frontman and guitarist Jimbob Isaac, who have just release their strictly limited Mythopoeia 7? on Super Fi Records (each of the 300 copies is lovingly hand screened and numbered by Isaac himself). Picking up where his work with Taint left off, the two tracks on display here – the title track and flip side ‘Sins On Their Sleeves’ – showcase eleven and a half minutes of hardcore and punk welded onto huge Sabbath style riffs. Adding former Whyteleaf rhythm section Nikolai Ribnikov and Simon Bonwick to the post rock mash up that drove the heart of his former band, Isaac has crafted another genre defying set of tunes that combine dizzying dynamics with classic rock swagger. It is hard to choose between the two tracks, both have massive technical, but catchy grooves. Both start and finish on a dime, one minute beating you into submission, the next lifting you up with a blistering guitar lead whilst Jimbob’s scraped larynx explores both melody and aggression with articulate ease. Those thinking that is is merely Taint Mk2 are mistaken, yes the muscular song writing has nods to the deceased band, but this is to be expected when one of the parties here was one of the principle song writers, but from the brief evidence on display here Hark have a lot more to explore in their own musical avenues and with a full length album planned for the end of the year,this is a mouthwatering taster of things to come. A must for those still craving more of Jimbob’s magic.

When Taint announced that they were to be no more following their split in September 2010, fans were left in mourning after the Swansea Power-sludge-metal legends left a legacy of 16 years of relentless live shows and a back catalogue that in many opinions, gave Torche a serious run for their dollar. Fast forward to July 2012 and Jimbob Isaac, Taint's ever-sweating, beast of a guitar player and wolf man of a vocalist, returns with Hark, a fierce power trio that clearly bear resemblance to the previous band. They have, so far, kept it short and sweet with a debut release of two songs for a 7" entitled, Mythopoeia. The first track is a severe powerhouse of boulder-like sound that encompasses all listeners from the moment it rockets out of the Matamp speakers. Named after the release itself, this track is one serious banger. All the best bits of Taint are seemingly stitched into the tapestry displayed here and if I may be so bold, the vocals and lyrics are even better than before. Overall sounds produced here are absolutely belting, like being caught in a hailstorm where the stones are actually skulls and the rain is blood. Technicalities in Jimbob's guitar playing are still as strong as ever, slides and double-stopped riffs which we all know and love, as well as super-charged bass lines which are more prevalent in Hark than previously in Taint. Track 2 fades in with a riff that possesses more power than a pissed off Greek god, the vocals steam back in with force akin to that of the cockpit of the 747 that hit the first tower on 9/11. The riffs are aplenty here. You cannot get bored from any part of this release, the guitar solo that snakes its way in towards the end of the track brings in all of the heaviest runs as well as having a heavy 70's influence on the entire track. Jimbob has also turned out to be quite the dab-hand with the old artwork on the front of the new 7", packaged in a brown-black colour way, the artwork is exceptionally fitting to the music contained. Each one is silk-screened and numbered...strictly limited to 300 copies. This is exactly how it is done folks this is the only purchase you should be making this year. Having been fortunate to have witnessed Taint ruin everyone's brains in Liverpool in 2010, I wondered what would come next following the split, would he really have the heart to sell off all his gear? Quit for good? That 70's SG he played through a serious-looking Matamp? Would it all be propped up in the garage for 20 years as something to show the grandkids along with hard copies of ‘Secrets and Lies', ‘All Bees to the Sea', ‘The Ruin of Nova Roma', numerous splits and compilations? Fuck no. Taint left some gargantuan shoes to fill back in 2010 and a legacy that will never be forgotten. Jimbob must have known that we all needed Taint's earth-shattering sound in our lives, with Hark he has added a V12 engine to the Taint sound, filled it up with King-Cobra venom and put his foot down.

Spoonful Of Tar
I could well imagine having seing a video of this on Noisey Mothers and running down to the record shop on Monday lunchtime to pick up the single. It's got a fair few influences from the more respectable end of 90s alternative metal stuff. I'm hearing touches of 'Plastic Green Head' era Trouble, Only Living Witness, Kyuss, some of that post-NYHC Revelation Records stuff that got a bit more MTV like Quicksand, non-twatty Alice In Chains, Handsome and whatnot. You know, the stuff you can still listen to today and genuinely enjoy. It's not a retro exercise as there's also some Torche and Mastodon things going on. That thing where it's totally heavy but dead tuneful as well. At other points it's almost blazing heavy metal twin guitar solos. I think I might be making Hark sound like some godawful Kerrang band. They're really not. You may well remember some of them from Taint and they haven't fallen too far from the tree. Basically, a ton of heavy riffs but perhaps more tuneful this time. I mean, there's a lot of complex things going on if you want to enjoy it on that level but it's not overbearingly 'technical' as you're head will happily be nodding along while listening. It's even worth picking up just for the packaging. It's nice to see some real effort and thought gone in. There's a faily elaborate card envelope that has been screenprinted by hand with original artwork. It looks and feels really good. You'd have to be pretty foolish not to pick this one up.

World Of Shit
It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if there were a few lost and dejected Taint fans who were keeping tabs on side-projects following Taint’s decision to call it a day back in 2010, and after almost 2 years the wait has been ended in the form of former frontman Jimbob’s new band HARK, who in the frenzy following their teaser trailer being put online managed to support the ever-awesome Kylesa on a few dates of their UK tour. Their new EP Mythopoeia was released soon after, a 2-track EP available in super-rare quanities on 7" vinyl. It’s only 2 tracks long, and whilst the urge to associate it with Jimbob’s former works runs rabid like ants at a picnic, Mythopoiea has a lot going on that distances itself a fair bit from what people were probably anticipating. Whilst the riff-masterclass going on is always going to garner the most attention, the bassline that grooves its way throughout both tracks is catchy in itself, bearing enough weight to compromise the structural integrity of any venue its played in. Problem is, it’s 2 songs, and whilst I would gladly sit through an album’s worth of material this downright heavy, there’s only so much you can figure out about a band in two songs. It is easy to compare HARK to Taint, the vocals being similar in both sound and quality, and the overall sound on this EP maintains a familiar level of heaviness, however a far more calm and collected post-rock pace sets it apart from what we grew to love with Taint, and ultimately will be what sets HARK a cut above the rest for future releases (with a full-length being teased for the end of the year).