Thursday, 25 November 2010
Album Review: Heretics - Heretics
It's a crime that this band isn't better known - this debut album is full of songs that have potential to be huge. After hearing loads of songs the band posted on various sites (I heard versions of 7 of the 10 songs before the release), it was great to hear the final recording along with three new songs, two of which are the best the album has to offer.
A forty-five second intro, which builds anticipation for the album ahead, and then starts to segue into the second song. But that's all it does, and in my head I count it as part of the next song, which is...
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
This is one of the best on the album. An industrial-sounding beat runs its way throughout the whole song, whilst the vocals reign over everything. The way the chorus joins the rest of the song is brilliantly done, and some clever rhyming makes its way in ("One last moment of bliss, a kiss, and then now into this abyss") before the song calms down with an almost ear-piercing synth line, comes back for another chorus, and then finishes in spectacular style.
Don't Be Late
This one sounds slightly darker, yet is as big-sounding as the previous song. "Don't be late she cried, but now my hands are tied" goes the chorus, which had me singing along by the time the last chorus came in. But then again, I had heard it before...
We Could Leave
This was my favourite before I heard the newer tracks, and it sounds slightly more powerful on the album, with the guitars being turned up a bit. Its beat and synth line make it a very catchy affair. Once again, the change-over from verse to chorus sounds brilliant, and the deep vocal shines out as one of the best things on the album.
Count Down The Time
A slower, calmer song to take a break from the first few tracks. Or is it? After two minutes of a synth line that gets a bit repetitive at times while the vocals reign supreme yet again, it takes a turn for the massive (yet again) as we are told "we can sleep well tonight." The second half is definitely better than the first here.
"I'm not content with what I have" is the opening lyric of this song about consumerism and our overwhelming desire to buy and buy 'til we have no money. And even then, after we have no money! ("No more overdraft, I'll use the credit card" goes the song). The lyrics are getting a bit more topical - which is good for this band, as they seem quite good at it. The tune itself isn't much to write home about, but it's still a decent song.
Finally, a new song! (excluding the first track, which isn't really a song) Definitely one of the best on offer here. A glacial synth opens the song, then comes the beat, and then some really powerful guitar work, then more drums come in, then another synth line over the top... building up and up, before the verse calms things down, before the chorus of "Time, you never draw the line." The chorus is actually probably the weak point of this song (unlike the earlier songs) as it is repetitive and wears out quickly. Nevertheless, this is one of the two standouts of the album.
This is the absolute best song on the album. The opening synth gives off a sense of sadness - before the verse, where the beat grows as we're led into the chorus of "These words of mine, when written down, never amount to much..." After another round of verse and chorus, sounding as big as the first time they came round, we take a break and hear "If one person listens to what I say, today will not be a wasted day...". Finally, after another rendition of the chorus, the final instrumental minute is the best way to close this up. Amazing song.
Unfortunately, Colour pales in comparison to the previous song, and is my least favourite on the album. It now sounds like it's all been done before. The album's songs do all sound very similar to one another, but the band manages to make them sound massive. However, this one is quite underwhelming. And at the end, it just ends abruptly, and just sounds slightly wrong. The only song on here that I'm not keen on, but not so far that I'd skip it on the album, it's still better than a lot of stuff I hear these days.
The final song is also new, and is up there as one of my favourites (excluding the hidden track). It's a slow affair, but the chorus packs a powerful beat, and the piano in the verses gives off another epic vibe. "Help me out, I can't do this on my own..." goes the chorus, and you can almost imagine that if it were played live, everyone would be waving their hands slowly in time to the beat. Every time the chorus comes in on this song, it gets bigger and bigger, and the way the song closes sounds like one of the biggest things the band has done.
I don't like this turning up after Gardens being such an epic album closer - this seems like it would have been a good intro to the album. It has the deepest vocal of the album, and sounds like its just anticipating something bigger to happen. It's quite an underwhelming end to the album, so I tend to stop at Gardens. If it had been stuck somewhere earlier on it might have grabbed me a bit more.
So, overall, a fantastic debut album. The only songs I'm not too keen on are Colour and the hidden track at the end (mainly due to its placement), but the others all have a massive sound. Trust, These Words, Gardens and We Could Leave are the standouts of the album, but the others are up there too. It would have been even better if they'd stuck Safety Net on there somewhere, but I'm sure they had their reasons. The only other criticism I can make is that the sound doesn't change much, and so sometimes it does get a bit repetitive, but the songs themselves stand up well on their own.
These reviews have not been written by a professional reviewer, but are just one fan's opinions on the songs released.