25 Feb 2015

Heaters "Solstice"

Reviewed by Maggie Danna

"Solstice", Heaters’ first 10” after several EPs, is a fresh, enchanting surf twist on garage rock. Though the band members are residents of land-locked Grand Rapids, Michigan, this is pretty much as beach goth as a group can get. "Solstice" is a psych-surf album that screams early Growlers and reminds me especially of the Growlers’ album "Are You In Or Out?"

Heaters are self-described as “psychotropic/buttermilk” on their Facebook page, which is certainly intriguing, and this proves to be a very good thing. Of the trio; Joshua Korf, Andrew Tamlyn and Nolan Krebs, two (Tamlyn and Krebs) were high school friends who met the third (Korf) as he happened to be their neighbour.

The jangly, echoing guitar that is omnipresent throughout the album really creates the surf rock vibe, which is further enhanced by the liberal use of hi-hat and tight percussion. Each song gives off its own unique lo-fi sound and all are expertly constructed. One of my personal favourite tracks is “No Fuss”. With a spiraling guitar background, “No Fuss” is deliciously reverb-laden and has the strongest space rock essence of the album. There is a sorrowful moan to the vocals and each note is held onto, drawn out in an almost drone-like way until it is released to softly fade away. The melancholy is almost tangible. “On A Whim” is another standout track, with more energetic guitar riffs. A bit of twang is also apparent throughout the album, though it is definitely far from country. Despite its laid back and often sorrowful vibe, "Solstice" also has irresistible dance appeal thanks to some great hooks, and it’s easy to imagine this album being played at an angsty sock hop.

I especially recommend "Solstice" if you like The Growlers, The Black Angels, Allah-Las, Gringo Star, or The Wytches.

"Solstice" is available in digital and on vinyl here:

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