Artist: Mister Heavenly
Isn’t it great when the people you like also turn out to like each other? This was my feeling when I discovered that Honus Honus (aka Ryan Kattner) of the exuberant, crazy pop-rockers Man Man, Nicholas Thornburn from both Islands and the Unicorns and Joe Plummer of both Modest Mouse and the Shins had come together and formed the meta-band Mister Heavenly.
Mister Heavenly released their first album, Out of Love this week and if there was any question as to whether these high energy and creative musicians could meld their talents enough to create a coherent record, it was answered with a resounding “yes.” Out of Love isn’t just a sampling a the strengths of each of these super-talented artists. Instead, it comes out with a sound all its own, something between doo-wop, post punk and frenetic, psychotic surf rock.
The album starts off with a huge opening track and follows through with a few epic-sounding tunes. “Bronx Sniper” and “I am a Hologram” are powerful tracks that fill the space with rich, layered sound.
Sadly, Out of Love can’t quite keep the momentum going and some of the tracks in the second half fall a little flat, sounding a little to much like barbershop crooning without the wickedness of the earlier tracks. Despite this mild slump, the album evens out in the end, never quite matching the power of the opening tracks, but settling into a fun level of energy that is comfortable and catchy.
Overall, Out of Love is a true accomplishment. For artists with this much individual talent and fairly different aesthetics to be able to come together and create something truly unique shows a deep and significant commitment to their craft. Mister Heavenly’s collective passion comes through in every song and Out of Love is a thoroughly enjoyable listen.