The lineage checks out

So when your rhythm section has a pedigree that includes Swervedriver, the Comas and Dean + Britta, there are certain expectations. Heaven released an EP five years ago, and it has taken the band a while to put together its full opening argument.

All Love Is Blue
(Little Cloud)

Let's start with the expectations: Met. Fully and unreservedly. The propulsive nature of these distortion-drenched poppy rockers (everyone seems to call these folks shoegaze, but that's just because they never had to stand through an early Galaxie 500 show) brings to mind a stripped-down MBV playing New Order. So, yeah, more Swervedriver than anything else.

But the insistence of the beat is what keeps this album alive. Heaven doesn't really believe in hooks, and while the lead guitar work is stellar (and just about the only element that doesn't wear distortion like a fur coat), the songs would simply be vaguely pretty bogs if not for the ultra-tight underpinnings. After seeing Love and Rockets a million years ago, a friend of mine noted that the key member of that band was not either songwriter but the drummer. Man, was he right. The same goes here.

I think this remains something more of a side project than a going concern, but even if the only real remnant is this album, Heaven has done a job. Sprightly shoegaze might not be an officially-recognized genre, but it sure applies here. Bliss out.

Jon Worley

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