Heirs - _Hunter_
(Denovali Records, 2011)
by: Dan Lake (8 out of 10)
Field zoologists and music writers enjoy at least one shared activity: both will wait patiently for their intended quarry to emerge, quickly ensnare it, tag it, and release it out into the world. The bearded, behatted nature lovers get a pass because they're actually adding to the store of human knowledge; the writers' version of the same is far more insidious. When we find a band's new spin on a beloved style, we're all in a tizzy to catalog, qualify, subdivide and hyphenate so readers get just the right impression of what we heard. Frankly, we have to, ‘cause usually you demand it. Then we all get into fights over what constitutes -true- prog-folk-dub-troll-core and what is clearly prog-folk-dub-gnome-thrash. Really, when's the last time you heard about a biologist finding a single bird with a broken leg near cattle grazing land and proudly trumpeting his discovery of the Lonely Limping Cow Pie Finch?

Now Melbourne, Australia quintet Heirs are asked to endure the label "avant-garde post-doom." I'm not inclined to disagree, but that's because I don't have a clue what it means. The _Hunter_ EP presents a quasi-heavy approach to somber trance-inducing rock songs. There are no vocals, except maybe the synthetic variety on the occasional countermelody. Slow repetitions mount toward tingling highs, not peaks so much as springboards for further ascension. There have been no monumental instrumental upheavals, though the guitars on "Never Land" get their turn to play noisy foil rather than melodic lead. Keyboards fade up and back down again without much fanfare save for the 100-second mark of "Symptom", when a startling homage to mid-'80s fantasy musical _Labyrinth_ splices itself into the song's otherwise earthy fabric.

Think Horseback without the processed rasping or endless hazy mood-stabilizer; think Isis and Aereogramme _In the Fishtank_ without the sludge undertones or glittering post-rock overtones; think Mastodon's work for _Jonah Hex_, but less unnecessary. Better yet, don't think. Let Heirs carry you to a pure, nonverbal mindspace on buoying waves of gently persistent beats, soul-melting bass lines, and effortless guitar semi-melodies. These words on your screen mean nothing. Lean closer, let me hum it to you...

Contact: http://www.heirs.com.au/

(article published 15/1/2012)

2/13/2011 A El Naby 7.5 Heirs - Fowl
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