From the state that gave us presidential primaries, summer camps, the US’s largest arcade and ice fishing, now can lay claim to delivering the amazingly funkadelic band, Harsh Armadillo. Harsh Armadillo is a seven-piece blue Gatorade fueled band, that has no affiliation with the state of Texas and has never encountered a wild armadillo. They digitally drop their third release and first EP, BITE, on June 15.
Harsh Armadillo was founded in a moldy basement in 2013, and so far have released two full length albums, ‘Thayer It Is’ (2014), and ‘Blame Bad Habits’ (2017). The DIY band has learned a lot from their past releases and were excited to come back again to record BITE. Harsh Armadillo consists of six guys and a girl: Daniel Tauriello on drums, Thomas Forbes on bass guitar and vocals, Aiden Earley on guitar, Dimitry Harris on keyboard, Maxim Harris on saxophone and vocals, Camden Riley on guitar and vocals, and Andrea Belaidi on lead lady vocals.
For the band, BITE is exciting and prolific. They challenged each other and pushed themselves sonically into new spaces and sounds. Full of creativity and a drive to push forward, the band has set out to create a several-part EP series, with BITE as the first edition in the series. The EP title has taken on many meanings as Andrea Belaidi, vocalist, explains, “At first, we thought of the word itself; quick, punchy and powerful. We feel a lot of momentum and passion from these new tunes,” says Andrea, “This body of music is ‘bite sized’ with only 4 songs”. Dan Tauriello, drummer, further explains, “It’s the aural version of one of those wood handled Q-tips you can’t help but stuff way too far into your ear. It’s complicated yet digestible. It fits poorly into our catalog of work, pays no heedance to our future, and little respect to the past.”
Harsh Armadillo is a collaborative band, and after five years of playing together they understand their sonic direction and have poured it into the new release. BITEwas recorded at IronWax Studio in Massachusetts with Alan Evans, of Soulive, as the engineer and producer, and mastered by Brad Smalling at Evergroove Studio in Denver. Harsh Armadillo connected with Alan on the first note. Max comments, “Working in Alan’s studio was like getting catapulted through a black hole and emerging with no pants or conception of time…we would disappear into the tracking process early in the morning and emerge, confused and disoriented, into the darkness each night to try and find a hotel and our sanity. I think it is important to note that all of the band members were present in the same room for nearly the entirety of the sessions – even during vocal tracking and solos. Having the whole group’s input and body odor present lent a tangible stank to the tunes.”
The stanky and extremely funky tracks on BITE include, “Animal,” “Live Action,” “Two Wishes and a Truth” and first single “Gravy.” All the songs are signature Harsh Armadillo, pulling in funk with 70s era horns, grooving bass, rhythmic guitar, and jazzy keyboards. The trade-off between female and male vocals sets the high bar even higher, with Andrea’s soulful voice carrying the tracks to another place. AXS reviewed the lead single, “Gravy”, and said “The song grabs the attention immediately with a groove that is sure to get you moving. It’s not just the melody and the rhythm that will get you moving, you also can’t help but bounce when you hear just how upbeat the song is.”
The members of Harsh Armadillo are pretty thrilled with what they’ve created with BITE. The tracks come together nicely to create just a bite of what’s to come next. For now, they will be gracing the summer stages through the Northeast bringing what fans love the most about their music — excitement and the love of funk. Check out here for their full touring schedule.
28 June ~~ Hampton,NH
6 July ~~ Dover,NH
7 July ~~ The Forks,ME
14 July ~~ Pleasantville Festival
27 July ~~ Pawtucket,RI
28 July ~~ Band Camp Festival
2 August ~~ Newport,RI
11 August ~~ Wild Woods Festival