Harmony Bay “Idiomiasmatic Grashopper’s Unprincipled Jest” (2009)

Many bands walk the thin line in the Avant-Garde genre between actually interesting ideas and pretentiousness. Harmony Bay’s first album most definitely falls on the side of the former, but unfortunately ‘Idiomiasmatic Grasshopper’s Unprincipled Jest’ (IGUJ) continually comes off as the result of a band trying too hard to be different.

The music on this release is much like it’s title; it sounds like it could make sense, but is ultimately shown as a random scramble of words put together to sound interesting. It has no real flow to it, constantly going off on tangents and disregarding any idea of coherent structure or melody. As a result, the music is very stop-start and often atonal.

IGUJ is split into two distinct parts; one of the “music” and one containing oddly voiced poetry over a synthesised version of the track’s first section counterpart.

Numerous parts of the album’s musical section are well known themes played in a different context, such as the Wagner’s Bridal March played on a synthesiser with a large farting sound at the end: a subtext for the farcical nature of marriage or the musical equivalent of toilet humour? That is up to the individual listener, but the latter seems much more likely to me.

Instruments used vary between piano, guitars, drums, bass and a synthesiser using numerous tones (such as a sitar-like sound in “Corpulent Jest”). Where they are placed seems as arbitrary as the vocals which shift between screams, growls, shouts and carnivalesque clean vocals whenever the band feel like it.

While there are some interesting ideas on this release, the ambition far outweighs the content, making this an album I would be hesitant to recommend to anyone looking for a more than a purely anthropological enjoyment in music.

-Simon Brand


Release:  2009
Label:  Independent
Avantgenre:  Avant Garde Metal
Duration:  24:46
Origin:  Czech Republic
Official site:  http://www.myspace.com/yyharmonybay
Review online since:  03.03.2010 / 19:35:35


01 – A Grasshopper’s Palindrome
02 – Unprincipled Vacuum
03 – Corpulent Jest
04 – Idiomiasma
05 – Tales Of A Grasshopper’s Palindrome
06 – Tales Of Unprincipled Vacuum
07 – Tales Of Corpulent Jest
08 – Tales Of Idiomiasma

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