Album Review: Heat Vs Light - Murderers - Already Heard
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Album Review: Heat Vs Light - Murderers

Heat Vs Light’s new album ‘Murderers’ is far from the harsh title suggests. Full of ethereal guitars, unique arrangements and a mix of melodies in each track, this post-rock sound delivers more life than death. However, there’s a confusion between the instrumentals and the vocals which makes this album miss the top marks.

If you pick any track off of this album, the talent of this band’s musicians is really what shines. This is especially true in Like Stars,’ which not only samples sounds of the ocean and thunder, but also fuses bits and pieces of different melodies and time signatures to create a full, coherent sound. Likewise is the story for I Love You Donna Ingham + I Miss U Both Loads,’ which is a lush, vibrant, multi-faceted song void of J.P. Keenan’s vocals. This song builds by adding layers upon layers of sounds until it leaves you with an emotional and passionate song. This track is the best on the album, showcasing the bands innate ability to convey a story through music alone.

Taking that same track and contrasting it with other songs on ‘Murderers,’ it becomes clear that Heat Vs Light gets a little confused in their direction. Songs like ‘The Air Tastes Like Strange Things’ and ‘Losing Beats’ seem to struggle with the balance of instruments and vocals. They fight against each other, both striving for complexity but in a very clashing way. Keenan’s vocals either get lost in the band’s soaring arrangements, or grate against a melody that wasn’t written for a singer. There’s a clear lack of cohesion in these songs between the instrumental and vocal aspect of the band. This is what makes ‘I Love You Donna Ingham + I Miss U Both Loads’ such an amazing and confusing track. It has all the power the band has to give without any vocals, which begs the question: why have them at all?

The answer comes with ‘We Miss Ourselves’ and ‘Rabbits;’ songs that are able to take Keenan’s voice and mesh it effortlessly into the very complex guitars and keys. In these songs you can hear the balance and restraint used by both sides. The music was written with Keenan’s voice and lyrics in mind, rather than slapping them on top of already-written tracks. These songs stand out and leave an impression of  the beauty and simplicity that the band creates throughout ‘Murderers.’

Heat Vs Light will leave you with a beautifully done post-rock album, full of ethereal, ambient guitars, military drums and an expert talent for meshing the many sounds they create into singular sounds. However, they struggle with adding vocals into their sound, which places them in a strange limbo between an instrumental band and a traditional one. While this isn’t a bad place to be, choosing sides could bring them a stronger sound.

3/5

'Murderers' by Heat Vs Light is out now.

Heat Vs Light links: Website|Facebook|Band Camp

Words by Jenny Gagas.

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