Heart is Black
Record Review by Marcel Feldmar
I have no idea what I’m in for here; all I know is that the sticker on the CD reads “Featuring members of the Jesus & Mary Chain and Ride”. So it’s either going to be fantastic, or it’s going to be something that neither band would have ever touched on their own. The first question is who? First off, we get Mark Crozer. So yeah, he’s not who I think of when I think of JAMC members, being officially in the band since about 2007, but I’m old school when it comes to this group. Next, we get Loz Colbert. Okay, so that’s definitely Ride, but he’s also been doing some JAMC gigging recently as well, so I’m thinking this might move into more noisy territory.
I have fun trying to figure out what I’m going to hear sometimes, before I actually hear it. Keeps things interesting. So, is there anyone else in this international jetsetting band? There’s Bert Audubert on Bass, Mark’s brother Paul taking up some of the guitar work, and Fi McFall doing the vocals (who also did a little back-up Mary Chain singing as well). So let’s press play and see what unfolds. I have to say; even with the musical connections here, I’m still on the fence about this endeavor.
We start with “Inside Out”, a fairly JAMC sounding song title I’m thinking, but it jumps and pops and sparkles out with some crazy reverbfuzz life that I was just not expecting. It has the noise and distortion going, but the vocals are wonderfully smooth and seductive over it. Fi and Mark sharing vocal duties in a super dreamy Britpopped gaze way. It moves fast and furious until “Never Slows Down” hits, with a mellow vocal intro, that makes me think of Sister Vanilla, just a little, but maybe more like Mazzy Star touching a Vapour Trail as she soars off into the stratosphere.
The songs definitely fall somewhere between the shoes of JAMC and the gaze of Ride, but the band is definitely making their way into a sonic space that’s all their own. There are mellow moments that do a slow build-up into lush and dreamy layers of drone, there are upbeat hits of frantic melodics, and through it all Fi McFall’s vocals hold it together, taking everything up and over into new and wonderful places.
Unfortunately, the CD is over after only six songs, and I’m left staring at the sky and holding empty air within my headphones.