13 December, 2012 in Music Reviews
Spanish five-piece Stand Up Against Heart Crime make a stand against the empty imitators that clutter up the musical landscape
he 19th century Britsh essayist Charles Caleb Colton once wrote: “If we steal thoughts from the moderns, it will be cried down as plagiarism; if from the ancients, it will be cried up as erudition”. Plagiarism is a delicate subject, for the manner in which someone pays homage to those who inspire them can render them either filthy thieves or artistic whom.
Well, though there are some modern references made here, and though the artists from inspiration is principally gleaned are aged, rather than ancient, the self-titled debut album from Stand Up Against Heart Crime is no empty imitator. Oh no.
The Spanish five-piece open with an instrumental that sounds like the Stone Roses gatecrashing a New Order song, throwing in a bassline that’s unashamedly similar to I Am The Resurrection. It shouldn’t work, but it does so brilliantly that it makes you wonder why Ian Brown and co didn’t think of it first. With this in mind, you might consider it a disappointment that references to the Roses erode so soon. You’d be wrong.
I Need No Sun comes across like a less aggressive version of Nine Inch Nails’ Terrible Lie, with a hint of Nathan Fake’s blissed-out ambience thrown in for good measure. Am I Safe? is the album’s highlight, with its mix of the electro of College & Electric Youth and the guitar atmospherics of New Order. Mental mixes the vocal delivery of Pet Shop Boys with the dreaminess of My Bloody Valentine. The album then takes a move into a sound that feels more of the band’s own invention.
Though still a mixture of electro and indie influences, the tracks that lead up to the album’s excellent closer Pulsar, with its disco meets Pink Floyd take on Krautrock, make less clear allusions to the music of others. Strangely it’s at this point when the album seems to take just a slight lull. Fear not, though: the quality of the music is still high and it may indeed just be the gleeful nostalgia previously invoked, that leaves you feeling this way.
It’s never an easy thing to take the pen of a hero and rewrite their words with your own fair hand. Thankfully, the hands of Stand Up Against Heart Crime are those of master calligraphers.
Verdict: Erudite electro-driven indie
PS: EXCLUSIVE! Just for Songwriting readers, here’s a free download of Am I Safe?…