Allison and Her Music #4 (Sing to me tonight)
My friend asked me if I wanted to go to the X96 Nightmare Before X-Mas concert. I was lukewarm on the notion. OKGo is great but not a deal maker. I heard Innerpartysystem, a post industrial techno band, was playing. Sign me up! I love me some electronica! It’s great to dance to. I put Innerpartysystem into YouTube and clicked on the 40 song playlist. The title track from the album Patent Pending by Heavens came up 2/3 of the way through the playlist. I had a minor freak out. I posted it to my Facebook page…twice. I never post anything twice. Heavens formed in 2006 as a side project of Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba. In talking with a co-worker about this my words were, “This came out in 2006. Where was I? WHERE WAS I?” I know I was four years too late but I went to Gray Whale on November 20, 2010, and secured my copy of Patent Pending by Heavens (2006, Epitaph Records).
I can officially say at 2:39 PM on Sunday, November 21, 2010, I had a spiritual moment. I was looking out my sliding glass door watching the snow fall and the driving, two-note, ambient noised Doves started playing. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from my neighbors ivy covered tree. Doves is a one minute introductory track to Another Night but in that one minute I was completely at peace with myself and with the world around me. I love tracks like this: music evenly flows from one song to the other without the listener even knowing. It gives me chills. The ambient noise and two note theme is repeated in Another Night. The drums intrigue me most in this song. They are simple but driving. They create an undercurrent for the rest of the layers of the song. It’s over too soon.
The title track is the force behind the album. It feels like it creates hurricane gales on the A-side of the record. It also employs one of my favorite music writing techniques featured in a lot of music by Eve 6: lateral rhyming. This is where rhyming is within the same line rather than a couplet. It creates a challenge for the writer but more so to the listener because it’s unexpected. We’re accustomed to hearing rhyming in couplets so when phrases like “shiny, clean, this guillotine new and improved, patent pending” and “place a curse on the hearse we’re driving” are performed they take us by surprise. It’s over too soon.
Counting is my favorite track on the album. While listening to it I had a Did-He-Really-Say-That? moment. There I was, making spaghetti sauce, and I heard something about arterial spray. Huh? I grabbed the album sleeve and sure enough, “I’ll announce the grand prize: Arterial-spray paints the carpet before your eyes. Better believe it.” The song is exciting and unexpected. The music is upbeat and the lyrics violent. This creates a musical juxtaposition. Happy music + violent lyrics = plain wow. It’s over too soon.
The album uses ambient noises and shoe gaze techniques that add perfect distractions then back to the lyrics and the core of the song. Upon multiple listening I found the album is laced with violence and macabre themes. I’m still evaluating whey I love this album so much. I could listen to his seductive voice and murderous humor over and over. Like a lot of the tracks the album is over too soon.