EP Review: The Hara - 'We All Wear Black'

THE HARA are an up-and-coming, Mancunian pop punk band. Since they released their first EP, 'No Regrets', Josh Taylor (frontman), Zack Breen (guitar) and Jack Kennedy (drums) have gained a reputation for genre fusion across several EPs and singles. Roxann Yus gives her take on the band's latest project, 'We All Wear Black'.

The Manchester-based trio, THE HARA, just released their newest EP We All Wear Black. Five out of six of the tracks had already been released on music platforms, leaving their final song to tie the project together. The boys are endearingly known for their charismatic charm they bring to TikTok videos, where they utilised the platform to advertise and popularise their final track, We All Wear Black, in preparation for the mighty premiere.

"...it's their unapologetic authenticity that we can see from their online presence that creates that connection..."

Clearly, there is not much mystery left in the EP. Fans familiar with their 2020 EPs We Are The Movement and Play Dead know that their sound has shifted from punky, riff-heavy noise towards a more cinematic ballad experience. They have stripped down their sound to what they believe best express them and their messages, such as continuing and enhancing Josh’s vocals to create a choir-like illusion, located within their staple heavy riffs. Every song on their new EP, besides Die in the City, maintains a strong ballad resemblance. It is un-ignorable that they are written and produced with the intention of both radio play, as well as hearing the lyrics echo around an arena one day.

The boys have always had their eye on the future and how they are going to get there, but sometimes this comes at a discredit to them because we know exactly what to expect. Credit is due for the raw emotion infused in their new songs, but this comes with the loss of their more socio-politically expressive sound. Honesty and passion cannot be underrated for the connection it can create between band and audience; it's their unapologetic authenticity that we can see from their online presence that creates that connection for THE HARA.

Their ballad-like songs Fool & the Thief, Domino, and Afterlife include alternative electro slips that don’t go anywhere. Instead, they choose to substitute the new-genre of electro-rock for an emotional outpour of sharp layered vocals. For a band that likes to hop on trends, especially on TikTok, they have stayed away from this shift in rock music. The integration of pop and rock into this style of ballad without a doubt attracts a wider range of fans. Even their unreleased track We All Wear Black is evocative of My Chemical Romance, with a pop twist. They have a hold on their punk-rock fans as much as they do on newer listeners.

It is the song Black Soul Ceremony from this EP that stands out as a bridge between their older music and now. It has striking riffs located within a powerful rock song that shows THE HARA’s rivalling contemporary bands such as I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME, Creeper or Siamese, who experiment in a similar ballad-like way. But this EP also stays in touch with their heavier side with the song Die in the City, acting as a bridge between older work and Black Soul Ceremony. I hope this song does not slip into the category of underplayed and underrated - it's pace and catharsis are bound to be eaten up in the rock and metal community. Yet, if THE HARA’s sound is shifting in such a way, it possibly runs that risk.

Overall, this EP is refreshing, and 'We All Wear Black' shows an individualist and expressive take on pop and rock music. Coupled with the funny and fashionable men that create it, their project is one that will appeal to music lovers far and wide. All I hoped was for from THE HARA's latest offering was a sound richer in rock and punk, but doesn’t every original fan want that? Being open-minded to what direction a band desires to take themselves in is fundamental to appreciating music, and I would encourage anyone to listen in to this brilliant EP.

Roxann Yus


Edited by: Elliot Fox

In article images courtesy of THE HARA via Facebook. Video courtesy of THE HARA via YouTube.