Thursday, July 17, 2008

Brutally Heavy Meadows.

It's hard being a blogger in Detroit. By the time you get the newest releases (even before they are out), five other people have already written about it. Don't cry for me though, because then I still end up with a bunch of music I didn't previously have. For the most part, it is good. Sometimes, it is real bad.

In the case of Javelins new record, Heavy Meadows, I did not know what to expect. Their first LP, No Plants Just Animals, was OK. Nothing new, nothing exciting, nothing to "write home about," if you will. It was just... OK. Before popping in their newest effort, I jotted down a list of musicians that I thought might make appearances on the album. The list is as follows:
* Zach Curd (Pop Project)
* Will Yates (Pop Project)
* Christian Doble (Child Bite/Kiddo)
* Kaylan Mitchell (Canada*)

I think I was right about Zach and Kaylan. Win!

And now for the review:
[insert the longest run-on sentence possible with the most pretentious words you could possibly find in a dictionary/thesaurus]

OK, here is the real review:

If the Blood Brothers and Interpol did some 'shrooms and smoked a bunch of weed together and jammed, they might sound like Javelins. Or if The Get Up Kids decided to bro down with Tim Kasher, and record an album, it might sound like Heavy Meadows.

OK, no seriously, real real review time:

A fan of malapropisms, I was hoping Heavy Meadows was a play on words for Heavy Metal, but I was sorely disappointed. Instead, I got softly caressed on the face (as opposed to being punched in the face) by soothing stringed instruments (as opposed to brutal, sweeping guitar parts run through two full stacks in a bar the size of my office).

The opening track of the album, Flowers, teeters on pretty and dissonant to the point where you are lulled into (and then jacked out of) a mid-summer's nap in a hammock on your parents' backporch in the 'burbs. Lyrically heartbreaking, compounded by a heartwrenching vocal melody. Could be an emo song. But it's not. Maybe it is. I don't know. I just like describing things as "emo" as much as possible.

The strings at the beginning of The Pounding were unexpected. After doing a little research (ie, stalking other blogs and Flickr accounts and Myspace pages), it turns out not only Mitchell was involved but so was Cassandra Verras. Awesome.

Personally, the stand out tracks on the album are El Dorado, Pickup Lines, and Out On the Sand. Out On the Sand is more The Stills than it is Interpol, but it's so well executed with perfectly chosen guitar effects, punctuated synths, awkward vocals, and dancey drum beats that you completely forget that you just compared it to The Stills and Interpol on the first listen. Pickup Lines boasts some memorable lyrics like, "memories are something that you can't afford." Deep. El Dorado is just good. Plain and simple. Good. Not that the song is plain nor simple.

Shit, I told Matt Rickles that I was going to tear this CD apart. I just can't, though.

Anyway, they are doing some record release show or something next weekend, the 26th, to be exact, at my favourite bar ever, The Belmont. They are playing with this totally awesome band called Nouns. I love that band. I will probably be at the show. Bring money and buy the record/album/CD/LP/whatever.

*And because she is on just about EVERY record ever made in Michigan. She's awesome at what she does. It's no joke.


Kaylan Mitchell said...


I hereby challenge Zach Curd, if he ever reads this (and he probably has Google Alerts set up like I do so I feel there is a good chance) to see who can play on the most albums in 2008. I mean, we're halfway through already, but there is some serious time for some guestin' and some playin'.

-Kaylan N. Mitchell

PS. Thanks for the nice words, lady. :)

Will Yates said...

I also have Google Alerts set up, but I'm a month behind on reading them, so I'm just getting to this. Elle, you were more right than you thought; I played on 3 songs on this album.