Futzing from Dusk ’til Dawn
Hailing from Sinatraâ€šÃ„Ã´s hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey must make any fledgling band keenly aware of legacy. Heterogene have interpreted this mission to mean they should create progressive grandiosity. Recent album AM-PM attempts to examine an entire day via a Heterogene soundtrack. The indie outfit began recording the album with Mighty Mighty Bosstonesâ€šÃ„Ã´ producer John Seymour, but eventually took the reins in hand to produce themselves. It appears they may have tinkered too long in the studio (a year), resulting in a bloated and distracted 20-track affair.Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s apparent the space-rock group are excellent musicians with great ideas. However, they donâ€šÃ„Ã´t contain those savory components for the listener. Just when one is enjoying an aspect of their music, some odd sound appears to ruin it. The album is full of synths, sound effects, women speaking in foreign languages and disruptive outbursts of noise. The opening track â€šÃ„ÃºAuto Muzikâ€šÃ„Ã¹ utilizes interesting Radiohead-like arpeggios only to be interrupted with cringe-worthy muffled vocals. â€šÃ„ÃºAh Ah Ah Aahâ€šÃ„Ã¹ doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t move beyond a repetition of the title and â€šÃ„ÃºUntitled Track 13â€šÃ„Ã¹ is a whine-fest of singing against a long guitar solo. Frontman Ryan Holidayâ€šÃ„Ã´s vocals are influenced by Gary Numan. â€šÃ„ÃºSleepingâ€šÃ„Ã¹ pays a nod to another influence, Depeche Mode, with familiar lyrics â€šÃ„ÃºGod has a sick sense of humor,â€šÃ„Ã¹ a la â€šÃ„ÃºBlasphemous Rumours.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Whereas those artists successfully merged man and machine, with detached vocals that retained melody while echoing the robotic sound of the music, Heterogene is unable to do so.
The best track is â€šÃ„ÃºMovie Song,â€šÃ„Ã¹ a polka trance of triplets with a proper use of eeriness and cohesive lyrics. The band captures agony through dark hilarity with, â€šÃ„ÃºLiving is easy when you are breathing / breathing is easy when you know that death is / is at the end.â€šÃ„Ã¹
Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s an intriguing idea for a concept album to encapsulate a 24-hour period through music. But Heterogeneâ€šÃ„Ã´s brand of nouveau New Wave with AM-PM couldâ€šÃ„Ã´ve benefited from more discipline and direction to invite the listener in, rather than to repel.