Operating from within the welcoming confines of the self-coined descriptor “posi-djent,” Chicago’s HARM LESS appropriates a style known for aggressiveness and technique-worship and re-purposes it with warmth and a welcoming spirit. Beginning life as a tribute to multi-instrumentalist Bryan Kingsley’s father and dedicated to the path of moving forward through life with bright-eyed insistence and purpose, HARM LESS invites listeners to experience joy through volume.
Eschewing the tropes often associated of musical endeavors centered around a single individual – myopic tones, limited scope, dominant instrumentation – SAFE’S PACE possesses compositional richness and organic delivery that belie Kingsley’s unaccompanied performance. In fact, the songs on this record feel more natural and less mechanic than what one has come to expect of djent-adjacent music. That is ultimately the goal of HARM LESS, though, to bring emotional engagement and impassioned exuberance to a stylistic melding with a conceptual foundation built on torrid riffing and intense sonic weight.
The result is an album for lovers of loud music who are concurrently seeking a musical experience that reinforces the embracing of euphoria. From the irresistibly upbeat groove of lead single “LOOSE LEAVES” to the full-hearted melodic chug of “MADE OF THE MIST,” from the math-y sway of “UNVIOLENCE” to the massive climactic outpouring of the title track, SAFE’S PACE is a record the grabs you, shakes you, but then offers a warm embrace. It’s the kind of heavy music that’s desperately needed for so many of us in 2019.