Wednesday, September 18, 2013

REVIEW: The Band In Heaven - Caught in a Summer Swell

When we last covered Florida's The Band in Heaven the focus was on their Sleazy Dreams 7" for Hozac records. The group is back again with their debut LP, Caught in a Summer Swell, and it takes a surprising turn.  While Sleazy Dreams worked the sludgey, droning side of shoegaze, the album is a more direct, melodic, jangling and accessible version of dreampop.  While still dense and, at times, very noisy, the hooks no longer hide behind layers of reverb and feedback.  The rhythm section is tighter and higher in the mix, and the male/female vocals are a more pronounced element and infuse a welcome sweetness to the affair.

Whether all of this is a good thing depends, of course on the execution.  Well, good people of the interwebs, I'm writing because one of my fears is that this gem from a little known Florida band and released on their own label will get lost in a product sponsored, teenage twerking and cock rock world.  That would be a major loss as, in my humble opinion (and my millions of fans know how humble I can pretend to be), Caught in a Summer Swell is a truly fine pop record, and one of the very pleasant surprises of the year.  Ten meaty, hook-filled dreampop tracks that any band working in this genre should be proud to call their own.  Thematically, the band addresses the transition from youth to adulthood and coming to grips with what it all means and how to navigate it.  Personally, my life in in a different state, but I think The Band in Heaven addresses the topic intelligently and wraps it in glorious sounds.

I've picked three tracks for your evaluation.  If they are to your liking, hit the Bandcamp link below and stream the entire album.  And you should note that the entire album is available for digital download for $5.


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