The Harlequins

The Harlequins

Indie Rock (Cincinnati)

Five years ago, Michael Oliva was in a band he didn’t like and recorded a solo album that sort of came out. And then along came bassist Alex Stenard, and the wildly eclectic, naturally hallucinatory and counterclockwise Rock mysticism of The Harlequins was born. Since the 2007 addition of drummer Rob Stamler, The Harlequins have unleashed the psych lounge brilliance of 2009’s Baron Von Headless and the just-released and far-too-short Midwest Coast, chock full of gyroscope-challenged rhythms and nudge/wink lyrical elbows and sunshiney summer garage harmonies and ’50s-infused ideas about entertaining the masses while Rome burns. The Harlequins have fun, and fun has The Harlequins.

You’ll Dig It If You Dig: Robert Pollard roasted by The Smiths, Pavement, The Beach Boys and the ghost of Timothy Leary. (Brian Baker, CityBeat)