Tag: XTC Mayor of Simpleton

New Video: Chicago’s The Hecks Release a “Flashdance”-Inspired Visual for Album Single “Flash”

Formed back in 2012 as a duo featuring founding members members Andy Mosiman (guitar, vocals) and Zach Herbert (drums, percussion), the Chicago-based indie act The Hecks recorded their 2016 self-titled debut with recording engineer and guitarist Dave Vetteraino. And by the following year, Vetteraino joined the band as a full-time member. 

Now, as you may recall the band’s forthcoming and long-awaited sophomore album My Star has taken three years to write and record. After recording an early version of the album in 2017, the band started playing live shows with Jeff Grauper (synths, keys). The members of the band found that Graupner’s synth playing added some welcomed heft and swagger to their new material. The band reworked and re-arranged much of the material they originally wrote in 2017 to accommodate Graupner. But while they were reworking the material, the band decided that to completely scrap the early recordings, eventually rebuilding the material to further incorporate Graupner and his skills. And as a result, My Star is reportedly a decided leap forward sonically for the band, as the album’s material draws from Manscape-era Wire, Paisley Park nu-funk, and abstract new wave and art rock.

Album single “So 4 Real” was a jagged bit of post-punk, centered around a motorik-like groove, squiggling blasts of synth and Mosiman’s plaintive vocals. And while nodding at XTC (“Mayor of Simpleton” specifically comes to mind) and Amoral-era Violens, the track was essentially a swooning and soulful love song that sounds as though it should be the part of the soundtrack of a quirky, 80s rom-com. “Flash,” My Star is an angular, neurotic take on XTC-like post punk featuring squiggling bursts of neon-tinged synths, propulsive syncopated drumming and lyrics delivered with an ironic sort of detachment. And yet, it evokes the rapid-fire heartbeat of the anxious and desperately in love.  

Produced by the members of The Hecks and featuring a video wall and lamination by Studio Super, the recently released video for “Flash” is a decidedly 80s-inspired, VHS-tape recorded affair as there are references to Flashdance and 80s MTV. It’s a feverish pop fantasy of a bunch of average white guys, who have big dreams — that sadly may never happen. “We stumbled through the whole thing and just leaned in on what was working. The end result reads like the contents of a VHS tape mailed to the president of Columbia Records from some kids from Valparaiso, Indiana, who got grounded right after filming because mom found an empty bottle of poppers in the basement,” The Hecks say in a statement. “Some forgotten relic of an aspiring nobody’s pop fantasy.” 

Chicago-based indie act The Hecks formed back in 2012 as a duo featuring founding members Andy Mosiman (guitar, vocals) and Zach Herbert (drums, percussion). Their 2016 self-titled debut was recorded as a duo with guitarist and recording engineer Dave Vetteraino, and by the following year, Vetteraino joined the band as a full-time member.

The band’s forthcoming and long awaited, sophomore album My Star has taken three years to write and record. After recording an early version of the album in 2017, the band started playing live shows with Jeff Grauper (synths, keys). The members of the band found that Graupner’s synth playing added some welcomed heft and swagger to their new material. After reworking and re-arranging much of that material to accommodate their new fourth member, the band decided that it would be scrap the early recordings, eventually rebuilding them to further incorporate Graupner’s skills. And as a result, My Star is reportedly a decided leap forward sonically for the band, as the album’s material draws from Manscape-era Wire, Paisley Park nu-funk, and abstract new wave and art rock.

“So 4 Real,” My Star‘s latest single is a jagged bit of post-punk, centered around a sinuous yet motorik-like groove, squiggling blasts of synths and Mosiman’s plaintive vocals — and while nodding at XTC (“Mayor of Simpleton” specifically comes to mind) and Amoral-era Violens, the track is essentially a swooning and soulful love song that sounds as though it should be the part of the soundtrack of a quirky, 80s rom-com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you follow me through my various social media accounts, you’d know that I’m now in Chicago on a business trip — and for some live music and hanging out with a few people I know in the area. So far, the trip has gone off on a fantastic start; but as you can imagine, I’ll be posting but somewhat sporadically as I’m running around town on various adventures, and will have work functions and so on. But let’s get to some business first . .

I’ve written quite a bit about the Chicago, IL-based psych rock band Secret Colours on this site, and as you may recall that throughout the band’s history they’ve gone through several lineup changes that have left founding member Tommy Evans as the sole original member. And with the band’s newest lineup which features Evans (guitar, vocals), Max Brink (bass) and Matt Yeates (drums), the band sound has been pushed in a slightly different direction as their latest album Dream Dream draws more from Brit Pop, guitar pop and garage rock — while at points, retaining elements of the 60s psych rock sound that first captured the attention of this site and elsewhere. Last year, I wrote about the XTC “Mayor of Simpleton”-like “Changes in Nature” and the 70s AM rock-like “Save Me;” however, the album’s latest single, album title track “Dream Dream” is more of a return to form, with the song being heavily indebted to both 60s psych pop and Brit Pop.

Directed and produced by Katey Meyer and featuring animation by  Becca Christman, the recently released video features the members of the band, playing on a brightly colored set, wearing retro glasses and sunglasses and of course, some prerequisite psychedelic imagery. It’s trippy yet mischievously so.

 

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=210272287/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/track=1819739007/transparent=true/

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past three or four years of its seven year history, you would have come across a handful of posts on  the Chicago, IL-based psych rock band Secret Colours. Interestingly, the band recorded and released their self-titled debut and their sophomore effort, Peach, the band’s initial lineup featured six members; however, by the time they went into the studio to record Positive Distractions 1 and Positive Distractions 2, the band went through a massive lineup change that left Tommy Evans (vocals, guitar) and Justin Frederick (drums) as the only members remaining from the original sextet. And with the recruitment of long-time Chicago music scene friends Eric Hehr and Mike Novak, the band went through a decided change in sonic direction — partially influenced by necessity and as a result of being artists, who recognize that life pushes them forward and towards new influences and techniques.

Up until recently, some time had passed since I had last written about them and in that period of the past few years, the band went through yet another lineup change in which its founding member Tommy Evans, along with Mike Novak remain; but with its newest lineup featuring Max Brink (bass) and Matt Yeates (drums), the band find themselves pushing their sound in completely new and different directions on their latest full-length effort Dream Dream; in fact, the album’s material finds the band drawing more from guitar pop and garage rock, while retaining elements of the 60s psych rock sound that first captured the attention of the blogosphere. And as you may recall, album single “Changes in Nature” was a swooning and sweetly urgent love song reminiscent of XTC’s “Mayor of Simpleton” but with a subtly lysergic vibe. Interestingly enough, “Save Me,” Dream Dream‘s latest single manages to mesh contemporary jangling guitar pop with psych rock in a way that feels anachronistic — could the song have been released during the 60s? Or AM rock’s heyday? Or in 2017? If it weren’t for the slick production, you wouldn’t be able to tell; but perhaps more important, the single reminds listeners that the band can craft incredibly infectious, hook-driven rock with dexterous guitar work.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past three or four years, you may recall that I’ve written a handful of posts featuring the Chicago, IL-based psych rock band Secret Colours. When the band released their self-titled debut and their sophomore album Peach, the band’s initial lineup was a sextet; however, by the time they went into the studio to record Positive Distractions Part 1 and Positive Distractions Part 2, the band went through a massive lineup change that left Tommy Evans (vocals, guitar) and Justin Frederick (drums) as the only members remaining from the original lineup. The duo of Evans and Frederick recruited two long-time Chicago music scene friends Eric Hehr (bass) and Mike Novak (bass) to fill out the band’s second lineup. Naturally, as a quartet, the band went through a decided change in sonic direction, partially out of necessity, and partially as a result of being artists, who do evolve as life pushes them forward; in fact, the band most likely recognized that they had two responses — strip down previously perceived excesses or find an inventive way to recreate their sound with fewer members.

Some time has passed since I’ve written about them, and as it turns out the band has gone through yet another lineup change — and while Evans and Novak have remained, the band has two new members Max Brink (bass) and Matt Yeates (drums), and with their newest lineup the band find themselves subtly pushing their sound in new directions with their latest full-length effort Dream Dream; in fact, the band’s sound draws from psych rock but also from guitar pop and garage rock. And as you’ll hear on their jaunty and jangling new single “Changes in Nature,” the band pairs Evans falsetto with shimmering, pedal effected guitars, a strutting bass line and propulsive drumming with a soaring, rousingly anthemic hook — and this shouldn’t be surprising as the soon is a swooning and sweetly urgent love song, along the lines of XTC‘s “Mayor of Simpleton” but with a subtly lysergic vibe.

 

 

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