If the Beach Boys and Nirvana knocked up the Pipettes, the resulting lovechild would be Harlem. Bubblegum-tainted choruses, irreverent charm and a frenetic pace drive its first album for Matador Records, Hippies. (The Austin trio self-released the 2008 EP Free Drugs.) The band has a gritty insouciance and psych leanings that call to mind the Black Lips; in fact, "Gay Human Bones" and "Friendly Ghost" are simple, insanely catchy garage-rock crack. Harlem comes off like it's having too much damn fun to care about impressing you — which sets it apart from the rash of lo-fi, gimmicky bands blowing up the blogosphere as of late. You might love it, you might hate it — but if you're looking for dirty, good fun, Harlem may be your new favorite band.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.