Artist: The Heritage (iTunes)
Album: The Golden Age EP
Release Date: 2/16/12
Reviewer: Carter Fraser
- Wreck Me
- New Blood
- The Banner
You know what I mean when I say “indie rock worship,” right? It’s drawing influence from indie rock and worship? There’s different amounts of influence of each for different bands of course, but most really tend to take more cues from worship rather than indie rock. Perhaps it’s a matter of constituents; if you’re going to have explicitly worshipful lyrics, you’re probably looking to attract the worshipful crowd more than the artsy indie crowd. The Heritage lean more towards the worship side of things, as you might expect. Fairly far towards the worshipful side of things in fact, to the point that the “indie rock” aspect of their sound comes more from the lack of the soft/heavy worship dynamic than anything else. The rock songs are rock songs here, the slow songs are slow songs, and at this point that qualifies as creative.
Ultimately however, The Golden Age EP is predictable. After a minute or so you can see where the whole EP is going. I don’t say that intending to condemn it too strongly—it’s still a nice little EP—but don’t expect anything you haven’t heard before. The first track is the edgiest, with somewhat “dark” guitar picking, a pleasant mild dissonance, and even a slightly angst-tinged chorus. The bouncy, upbeat mood enters in track two, the shortest, which also brings in a southern vibe in the vocals and a nicely done Americana solo in the bridge. The rest goes similarly; heart-on-their-sleeve vocals, a guest female backing vocalist (on the slow song no less), a waltzy, mellow closer, some scattered small-scale climaxes… it’s not all that different from something you might expect to hear in a contemporary church service, and you can interpret that however you’d like. “New Blood” is clearly the best song here simply for it’s catchy chorus and groovy melody. It’s nothing you wouldn’t expect still, but it’s fun. An echo treatment on the vocals adds a surprising amount of depth, going far beyond gimmick. The effect is used subtly enough that it does give the song a nice intimate vibe while still maintaining all pop sensibilities.
Overall: Safe as it may be, there’s nothing to not like about what The Heritage have going on here, but they struggle to stand out amongst the horde of their contemporaries. They don’t really do anything wrong, but it would be kind of hard for them to when they don’t really take any major risks.
RIYL: Topherman, Tongue&Pen, Josh Garrels, Loud Harp