- by Brian Lange. Rating:8 Release Date:2016-01-27 Label: Art For Blind Records // Penske Recordings
The Altered Hours latest effort, In Heat Not Sorry, is the work of an indie band that mixes oddly calming and passive, lazy, Fender Telecaster riffs with something that’s teetering on the edge of darkwave. I can’t quite call them the precocious Sonic Youthers that they seem to be begging to be, but they certainly do emanate a bit of that 'I don’t give a shit' rebellious attitude that once worked so well and ushered in a wave of new music that would influence and transform what we all accept as 'popular' music.
Bad Moon Rising seems to be a huge influence for this record. Since these guys are actually from Cork, Ireland and fall a few decades short of the noise-rock/punk rock/whatever movement that was happening in gritty New York City, does that make them ineligible to be compared or grouped with those bands of days gone by? It’s difficult to say. This music would easily stand up to the music that came screaming out of CBGB’s or the 100 Club, but the difference is that they existed in a different time, a time where that sort of thing just worked and actually meant; something entirely different than it means now, anyway.
This multi-tasking band has both female and male vocalists who also take turns harmonizing for one another. The strength and cohesiveness of a band really shows when there nobody insists on taking the reigns as ringleader and all are equal.
There’s definitely an overall feeling of darkness with In Heat Not Sorry. Slow and droney tracks full of melancholy distortion like “Silver Leather”, “Saviours”, and “Citadel” are in contrast (but complimentary) to the more energetic “Who’s Saving Who”, “Way of Sorrow”, and “Rotting” which all seem to come together in a concluding peaceful duet titled “Laughing on their Knees”. The album works well as a whole, and conceptually strung together through it’s diversity in energy.
Perhaps it is a mistake to dissect music based on the history of the genre or the influences from which the band source their material. Music, any music, should stand and be based on the strength for what it is. True, it could be argued that music in today’s age needs another drastic change, or a rebellion. But movements only truly happen once. The punk rock noise genre did its duty, it ran its course, and has become an influence for thousands of musicians since. In Heat Not Sorry does a very admirable job of living up to their influences and fans of the genre should be pleased.