Chicago alt/rock/psych/pop trio The Hecks have been working on their debut LP for two years as a follow up to the success of their acclaimed 2012 EP release. The album is full of seemingly haphazard melodies and dissonance in sound blended intricately with genre crossing, hypnotic vocals. The Hecks is set to release on September 2nd, and we have your first listen right here on IMPOSE.
Starting out raw with a whirring amp, “Sugar” is a yell/talk anthem that somehow ends up sounding more intricately woven rock rap than anything else. “The Thaw” is a bit more layered in its composition off the bat, allowing for an upbeat dance track to take the forefront. The third track, “Landscape Photography”, holds with it one of the most questionable sounds we’ve heard on a track in a while. Is that the hard braking of a subway train? Is it fingernails on a chalkboard? Is it a sound system that isn’t working properly? And, just like that, the noise is over.
“Rockwell Nudes” holds the most enduring title on the album, sounding like a throwback pop rock song that easily could have been produced alongside the likes of Bowie. At just 1:27, we wish this one lasted longer. Track five, “Trust And Order”, starts out very structured, with percussion that borders on “order” and gives a very buttoned-up feel to the song. Then comes the twangy, 70’s rock of the guitar to break that structure and bring a more robust and relaxed feel to the song. The vocals follow suit, allowing us to zen out while enjoying the song.
“Favor” comes next, a more grunge track replete with indecipherable lyrics and lots of noise. “Junior Showmanship” is a lighter track, running wild with twinkling noises and interesting, upbeat sound effects. “Spooked Light” is just that, a haunting, chanting vocal set over very simple – and gorgeous – instrumentals. We want “Tea” to be our favorite, so we give it a couple of chances here. What sounds like wind chimes leads into a heavy bass line, the two sounds whirring together, stagnate yet not. It’s relaxing and adrenaline-pumping at the same time, and we haven’t quite figured out how it makes us feel. Yet.
“Airport Run” rounds out the album, once again hitting with a fun, danceable melody and crash cymbals for days. The vocals and the curiously fun tambourine lead this track to be one of the highlights of the work, ending it on a very positive note.
September 1 Chicago, The Hideout (record release w/ Matchess and Ono)
September 2 Milwaukee, Riverwest Public House w/ (ORB) and Dogs in Ecstasy
September 3 Minneapolis, Riverboat (house show)
September 4 Minneapolis, Dead Media (instore)
September 5 St Louis, Bolozone
September 6 Columbia, Cafe Berlin
September 7 Bloomington IN, The Bishop w/ Daguerreotype and Cross Country