Album Rediscovered this Weekend, or Duh
posted by February 18 at 13:42 PMon
I went to see the Foals and Sleepy Eyes of Death at Chop Suey on Satruday night. They were both good, but the band in between them, the Heavenly States, not so much. A friend and I were talking about someone we know who would charitably describe even the worst record as having “a couple good songs.” Though their live show was a drag, the Heavenly States’ Delay isn’t the worst record everódespite the singer’s unfortunate tendency to split the difference between Art Alexakis and John Cougar Mellencampócharitably, it has “a couple good songs.” One of those songs is opener “Morning Excercise,” which finds the band recalling far superior touchstones. The circular, repetitious chorus is total Promise Ring, but the raw, emotional growl of the lines, “It hurts so bad/this goes on the record/this goes on the record, it hurts so bad,” reminded me a little (just a little) of Archers of Loaf’s awesome debut Icky Mettle
I realized that I hadn’t listened to the record in years, save for hearing it by chance one night on the Redwood’s jukebox. Turns out, it’s still great, save for maybe the (plumb) line, “She’s an indie rocker/etc…” from “Plumb Line.” “Web in Front” may be one of the best kick offs to an indie rock record ever, with its inscrutable but catchy lyrics and its shaky guitar groove. “Toast” is bizarrely epic. “You and Me” is brutal. The whole album is the kind of tenuous combination of tough and tender that bands were pulling off in the 90s all the time, but that seems to have splintered into distinctly “wussy” and “macho” camps these days. I really wish I was more into Crooked Fingers.