Thursday, 4 April 2013

Generationals - Heza

Album review by

New Orleans duo Generationals have always been a band sat on the edge of true greatness. When they pass over this line amazing things happen (see tracks including 'Ten-Twenty-Ten', 'Wildlife Sculpture' and the peerless 'When They Fight, They Fight'). At other times they're simply a very good band. Third album 'Heza' apparently marks a shift in sound for the band, with them stating that their aim is more towards post-punk than pop, but that they wish to continue using strong hooks, only this time with more focus on the rhythms, something that, while not necessarily aiming to be more obscure or difficult to grasp, are designed to grow over time. But if you're after a quick pop hit, well, they've saved a few of those here too, hopefully adding more depth to the album as a whole.

In fact they begin this set with two of the first three songs being easy on the ear guitar-pop tunes in 'Spinoza' and 'Say When', signifying that although a subtle change is taking place, the band you know and love are still, clearly, the driving force behind it. There is a significant diversion when it comes to the more experimental 'You Got Me', and true to their word, it may not strike you down immediately, but over time grows into something far more special. Just in case, they follow this with one of 'Heza''s finest compositions in 'Put A Light On', an experimental indie-type track that will be familiar to anyone who's up to speed with the first couple of albums. The will to experiment is still with them and scratchy blues highlight 'I Never Know' shows a departure from their usual sound.

The important thing about 'Heza', is that although it's reasonably diverse, it's not just a collection of ideas of experiments; it's an album of cohesive songs. Generatinals are experienced and wise enough to know how to fit things together properly. So we get catchy indie/pop ('Awake') followed by the more eclectic electro-funk of 'Kemal', but the connection works and doesn't feel like a band flitting from one idea to the next in a random order. It's straight back to their poppy side again on 'I Use To let You Get To Me' and the '80s-influenced pop that is final track 'Durga II'. Once again, Generationals have shown that they're a band who are sitting on the edge of greatness, just dangling their feet over. Maybe they'll be able to take the leap eventually, but for now 'Heza' is more than good enough'

Generationals' website

Buy the album

Catch them live:

Apr 11 Mud + Water Baton Rouge, LA
Apr 12 The Bottletree Birmingham, AL
Apr 13 Pilot Light Knoxville, TN
Apr 14 Local 506 Chapel Hill, NC
Apr 16 Strange Matter Richmond, VA
Apr 17 Rock and Roll Hotel Washington, DC
Apr 18 FED LIVE Harrisburg, PA
Apr 19 Club Cafe Pittsburgh, PA
Apr 21 Johnny Brenda's Philadelphia, PA
Apr 22 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
Apr 25 Great Scott Allston, MA
Apr 27 Space Portland, ME
Apr 28 Bug Jar Rochester, NY
Apr 30 The Monkey House Winooski, VT
May 01 Casa Del Popolo Montreal, Canada
May 02 The Garrison Toronto, Canada
May 03 Grog Shop Cleveland, OH
May 04 Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL
May 05 Hotel Foster Milwaukee, WI
May 06 7th St. Entry Minneapolis, MN
May 08 Vaudeville Mews Des Moines, IA
May 09 Old Rock House St Louis, MO
May 10 The High Watt Nashville, TN
May 11 The EARL Atlanta, GA
May 31 Downtown Alive! Lafayette, LA
May 31 Artmosphere Lafayette, LA
Jun 01 Three Links Dallas, TX
Jun 02 The Parish Austin, TX
Jun 04 The Crescent Ballroom Phoenix, AZ
Jun 05 Casbah San Diego, CA Tickets
Jun 07 The Echo Los Angeles, CA
Jun 08 Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, CA
Jun 11 Doug Fir Lounge Portland, OR
Jun 12 Tractor Tavern Seattle, WA
Jun 13 Biltmore Cabaret Vancouver, Canada
Jun 14 The Badlander Missoula, MT
Jun 15 Neurolux Boise, ID
Jun 16 Urban Lounge Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 17 Hi-Dive Denver, CO
Jun 18 Record Bar Kansas City, MO
Jun 20 Fitzgerald's Houston, TX
Jun 21 Maison New Orleans, LA
Jun 22 Alabama Music Box Mobile, AL
Jun 23 New World Brewery Tampa, FL
Jun 26 The Social Orlando, FL Tickets
Jun 27 Underbelly Jacksonville, FL
Jun 28 Vinyl Music Hall Pensacola, FL

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