“This is rock-and-fucking-roll, man! Grab your guitars and let’s rock!,” exclaims Jeff George, guitarist for L.A.-based four-piece We Are Harlot.
With his long blond locks, perennial shit-eating grin and always-amped personality, George is, in a sense, the human embodiment of We Are Harlot’s sound.
The band’s self-titled Roadrunner debut explodes with high-energy, good-time, heavy rock and roll songs that recall Seventies and Eighties greats like Van Halen, Kiss and Guns N’ Roses, which George then carpet-bombs with his fiery soloing, coming on like the spawn of a five-way love child between Ace Frehley, Angus Young, Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads and Dimebag Darrell.
It’s a sound that manages to sound classic and yet also incredibly fresh—mostly due to the fact that there aren’t many young bands today doing what We Are Harlot does, and certainly not doing it as well. “Rock and roll has become so much about depressing, angry stuff,” George says.
“Everybody’s so bummed out. But our songs are fun. You listen to this record and it’s about partying and sex and going out and playing music. It’s a good time. That’s what rock and roll used to be.”
And, indeed, We Are Harlot tracks like “Denial” (“For that solo I was thinking about what Randy Rhoads did on [Ozzy Osbourne’s] ‘S.A.T.O.,’ ” says George) and first single “Dancing on Nails” (“the lead is straight-up Ace Frehley”) are blistering, no-holds-barred rockers that combine high-octane riffs and freight-train rhythms with huge melodies and hooky, sing-along choruses.
While We Are Harlot—which also includes drummer Bruno Agra and Silvertide bassist Brian Weaver—have been building a following on the rock circuit for the past year, until recently they’ve been mostly known as Asking Alexandria singer Danny Worsnop’s other band. But this past January, Worsnop parted ways—amicably, he has claimed—with the popular British metalcore act, and since then, George says, it’s been full steam ahead for the Harlot boys.
“We want to take our music to everyone. So we’re going to hit it hard this year for sure. And for me, there’s nothing better than getting up onstage with these three dudes. To look over at my friends and see them laughing and enjoying themselves, and then looking out at the crowd and watching them go crazy…it’s the best feeling in the world. It’s a blast. And that’s what this band is all about.”
• GUITARS: ESP Jeff George Signature, Vintage and LTD Xtone; Taylor 614ce; Martin 12-string
• AMPS: Marshall JVM410, JCM800 and 1971 Super Lead (modified by Jose Arredondo); EVH 5150 III; Sixties Fender Deluxe Reverb
• EFFECTS: Maxon OD-808 Overdrive and FL-9 Flanger; Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive and NS-2 Noise Suppressor; Dunlop MXR Phase 90
• STRINGS: GHS (various gauges)
• PICKS: Dunlop Jazz III
Photo: Sean Murphy