[7 September 2008]
Heaven And aren’t well known even in a lot of insider’s music circles, but this record should open them up to an audience appreciating groups like Massive Attack, St. Germain and others. Using ambient structures to breath new life into jazz, dub, dance and other genre tangents, this quartet excels with “As If a Star” which shines early and often. And just when you think the song is about to explode, Heaven And never burst that slow-growing, intensifying bubble. Meanwhile, although mostly instrumental, Alexander Hacke sings on “Scarlet Woman” as if he’s Nick Cave’s understudy or hoping to pump new life into David Bowie’s Outside record. Overall it’s a very engaging, atmospheric record, whether one enjoys the machinery sounds fueling “Bring Back Those Happy Days” that could recall Lou Reed’s metal machinery music or “Prince Priest” with its plodding, prog-rock hues. Perhaps the highlight of the album is “Parade”, a subtle, eerie jazz-tinged tune that ambles along before hitting a My Bloody Valentine wall of guitar. Similar in vein as “Parade” is the melancholic, march-like, militaristic “Durango”.