Heaters - Matterhorn

by Jim Harris Rating:7 Release Date:2017-10-20
Heaters - Matterhorn
Heaters - Matterhorn

Heaters are a psych band from Michigan and have been around since 2014 and Matterhorn is their third album and, while they lost a co-founder, they continue to churn out the psych.

This album shares much the same sound as their previous album Baptistina but is even more polished and the shimmering waves of guitars continue to lace through each and every track.

Therein lies the biggest problem I have with this sound is the sheer repetitiveness of the shimmering, slick waves of multi-levels of guitars.  

It all starts to sound the same and this band ultimately has no remorse for this as they start out with two tracks that are essentially the same progressions and are brazenly titled ‘Thanksgiving 1’ and ‘Thanksgiving 2’.  I initially had some trouble with this but this is not a pretentious psych band.  They jam, rip, and smoothly tear through riff after riff of atmospheric layers of exceptionally well-executed psych.

The vocals help either break the similarities or accentuate them, but the edgy, echoey consistency of the vocals work.

If you are a fan of DIIV or even Real Estate, this band may have the grooves you will find interesting.  I like the progressions best when they lurch into less structured scuzz on say the track ‘Hochelaga’, a track that goes less atmospheric and more melodic.

Make no mistake about it Heaters are a polished, tight band who would probably put on a great jam live.  My favorite track is ‘Pearls’ that seems to take them out of the repetitiveness some and really has the band hitting a great peak.

If anything they might need to get rid of the shimmer a bit and rip it more.  While there is only 37 minutes of music here, the last track ‘Seance’ is possibly their most ambitious and shows where they should be heading as a band.

Psych music is most interesting when the band transcends repetition and breaks it up creatively and creates their own unique soundscapes.  Heaters, for the most part, do that on Matterhorn, but the initial start is a bit slow and beginning with Thanksgiving I and II kind of sets a tone that’s hard to shake.  Still, they know their stuff and I look forward to their next album.

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