Heel - 'The Parts We Save' Album Review
1. Any Apology
2. Selfish Burn
3. Yellow & Bliss
4. Nothing New
7. Keep Running Back to Me
8. Live This Forever
9. Fake Love
10. Streets Full of You
Bam! Straight in. Riding on the overtones of exciting guitar work. The opening track “Any Apology” does it's job and opens the album with a fiery tenacity. It exudes influence and wears it almost exclusively on this track. You wouldn't be blamed for writing this band off to a cheap comrade of their peers. This album is a grower and displays an immense diversity of both the versatility of the musicians in the band and the vocal prowess of powerhouse Margarita (Singer).
“Yellow & Bliss” is almost 70's prog. The instrumentation matched with the counterpoint of the vocal really creates a chaotic opening and shows me another side to the band. The chorus envelops itself into the atmosphere of the song. A soaring voice encased in reverb really keeps my interest and has reignited my dwindling interest from the second track.
I really enjoy the way the guitar player approaches his solos. They do not seem over thought, they have a spontaneity and a spark that keeps me listening and intent on the journey of the song. I can hear the Paramore influence whether intentional or not. I don't think this detracts from their music because they take the melody of a band like that and make it better. They take the simplistic elements of a mainstream pop song and coat them into fun, invigorating aural playgrounds for the melodies to wind and soar within. The rhythm section in this band really know what they are doing and I think are a testament to the band coming across so well.
“Shatter” starts off very melancholy and winds into mediocrity but the song itself is still intensely likeable. This is a song that is needed here purely to ensure the pacing of the album works. It seems to be a throwaway tune compared to the rest of the album but never the less it does work in context.
“Cool” is one of my favourites from the album. I can feel everyone stretching their musical legs. I can hear the drummer absolutely come to life on this track. The tempo change on the chorus is so subtle and excellently executed. I feel this would be an incredible track live. It's an exciting arrangement that keeps me interested throughout the entire song. The following track “Keep Running Back to Me” is by far my favourite on the album. Really hear the band rock out and seem to just throw away their previous influences. Margarita (I feel odd saying that without thinking about Pizza, anyway review...). Lzzy hale eat your heart out. She can really belt out in her top end, a thoroughly enjoyable hard rock song.
As we descend into the latter parts of the album I can hear much more diverse influence and an effort to retain some originality which I do think they have! “Live This Forever” and “Streets Full of You” enable me to see the vocals in a much more eclectic light. These are rock anthems that should be heard. I feel with a little more consideration to track order this album could come across entirely different to a new listener. There are too many similar tracks next to each other which detracts from how original some of the songs on this album really are.
One thing that I really wish happened at the end of the album was that “Streets Full of You” built up to an enormous melodic guitar solo. Maybe I just listen to, too much 80's rock?
Overall I found this album a very enjoyable listen and it gets better on each listen. Their is a lot of depth here void of the initial tick boxes of influence. You can hear a British Paramore. You can hear Best Coast, Hole even Halestorm at times but at no point did that disappoint me or make me want to listen to those bands instead. I look forward to future music and will certainly be at a show soon.
Stand Out tracks: Streets Full Of You, Cool , Keep Running Back To Me.
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Review - Matt Jones