Halifax-based Heaven For Real have released ‘Kill Your Memory’, an eleven-song Slip ‘N Slide down the rabbit hole (and in a clear vinyl format no less).
‘Kill Your Memory’ begins with the catchy lo-fi post-punk ‘Subliminal’, the album’s first single, which has already jumped onto our list of Best Music Of 2016 (So Far). It’s awash with an outward commentary through an introspective lens and reverbed effects, as through we’re experiencing the early and more pleasant effects of some drug that has left us open to the power of suggestion and just a little disoriented.
From there the album plunges deeper and deeper into off-kilter rhythms. They stumble in like a bi-pedal bear insistent that it absolutely was invited to this picnic, but would you mind if his soft-spoken mealy-mouthed friend also came along. Within the space of a few songs you begin questioning exactly when it was you started comparing albums to Hanna-Barbera characters. In all likelihood though, judging from Yogi’s hat and tendency to challenge the status quo, he was probably more into ska anyway.
But the dichotomy of Boo-Boo and Yogi isn’t that far off. Woven throughout the whole of ‘Kill Your Memory’, and beginning from the tail end of the first track, it attempts to marry the poppier, softening melodies with a discordant bassline and drums, but the two only occasionally cross paths in what amounts to a sweet sweet liberated picnic basket of music. The album is almost operatic in the way it overlaps sounds of strikingly different character. They rapidly intertwine, shift, and disengage. Conversation. Aside. Conflict. Resolution. At times you can practically hear the tympani.
Which is another interesting feature to ‘Kill Your Memory’: it often seems bent on reintroducing familiar sounds in unfamiliar formats, or vice versa. It’s like hearing The Beatles covering Radiohead, or The Beach Boys lunging into Nirvana. ‘Known Steps In Direction Unknown’ might have opened up with the Grateful Dead and featured Elliott Smith, before Brian Eno and Tullycraft take over on ‘Oasis Melting (Visitor On Vacation)’. ‘Allen‘ even makes something of an homage to Art Garfunkel’s ‘Voices Of The Old People’. There’s a little bit of what John Lennon referred to as “messing about with the tapes”.
It’s not easy to pin down ‘Kill Your Memory’. Just when you think you’ve got it nailed down as experimental rock, or post-punk jazz, it slithers away almost intentionally. Even the lyrics wriggle off from time to time to be something else before they’re even finished being sung: “Every day and each night, there’s so much you change, and grow a pair…ently.” It’s a slow burn, but I’m counting on that final click when it all falls into place, and those always make for the best albums.
For more information visit Heaven For Real.