Wait Not for the Change
Well, it only took Daniel Blumberg a couple months to remind us that he didn’t leave Yuck to get out of the game. He’s returned under a new moniker and his first offering is Unreal. The guy has been in notable bands since a young teen so we knew he wasn’t going anywhere, but now that we’ve had our first proper taste of Hebronix, we know he isn’t going anywhere fast.
Unreal plays like an existentialist’s daydream. Here, we have ambient waves that rise and fall rather than curl and crash. Blumberg leaves plenty of room for the music to breath; the record might just be six songs but it runs for over 45 minutes. At times, it’s hard to tell if Hebronix is intentionally loose or just lazy. Instruments fall in and out of rhythm in subtle ways, and often, this seems like less of a technical choice than it is a consequence of getting distracted during an endless groove. But you have to hand it to the guy, Blumberg has one of those intuitive knacks for melody.
Like Yuck, this project is guitar-based, but it’s not so guitar heavy. Rather, he opts for dreamy ‘90s guitar-based rock and integrates a couple new elements like synths and strings. Blumberg says he hasn’t listened to much My Bloody Valentine, but he and Kevin Shields have similar sensibilities and it is this textural approach to the instrument that defines the post-rock/shoegaze feel of Unreal.
Blumberg seems stuck in a transitory state, dissatisfied with where he’s at in life. Maybe it’s a reflection of his departure from Yuck, maybe it’s the fact that his new band name will never be as cool as his last one. Hard to say. It’s difficult to pick standout tracks on an album this consistent. Perhaps “The Plan” best encapsulates what Hebronix is—not striding—but meandering toward. Structurally, this closer is almost painfully simple. But still, it comes off as one of the strongest offerings because the few choices made are the right ones. Make no mistake, this is an album for the dreamers. Wait not for the change but inhabit the moment, young grasshopper. This album could treat you with the peace of mind you surely need.