Heaven And - Bye And Bye I'm Going To See The King
Heaven And's second album simply cannot be attributed to any genre. Earthy bottleneck guitar licks or wailing lap steel harmonies are occasional references to folk and blues, yet they're only an acoustic sheet lightning on a heaven in which - occasionally - violins play on cloud nine. But the delicately tared string quartet does not emanate an acoustic cotton wool cloud cosiness. Rather, it's a precisely accentuated "European" counterpoint to those seemingly primeval American motifs. A similar ying and yang is evident in the sometimes deliberately jarring, then again almost seamless juxtaposition of acoustic and programmed sounds. From the hovering clouds and walls of sound generated by keyboards or an organ unexpectedly emerges a percussive pulse. Digital sizzling, throbbing and clicking stand in contrast to melodic guitar mantras. Monolithic bass patterns mutate into thunderous noise attacks. Electronic tweeting reminds one of flicking across the dial of an analogue radio. Massive layers of chords develop the sinister and gorgeous force of a stream of lava. Dark drum patterns, ritualistic trance grooves or the evident use of snare drum and cymbals are proof of drummers Tony Buck and Steve Heather sure feeling for magic rhythms and associative counterpoints.