Heel – The Parts We Save

Heel_RingMasterReview

Amongst many eagerly anticipated offerings this year has to be the debut album from UK alternative rock quartet Heel. Having impressed with their first EP and even more so with subsequent releases as well as a striking stage presence, Heel has been one of the bands enveloped by increasing acclaim over recent times. It has put some strong expectations of The Parts We Save upon them which the London band has appeased with ease. Maybe at times the album does not quite fulfil all the potential within it but for rousing, imagination sculpted rock/pop contagiousness, the album persistently hits the spot with adventure and charm.

Formed in the winter of 2011 from guitarist Daniel and vocalist Margarita’s songwriting sessions, Heel quickly began working on their first EP once its line-up was completed by bassist Fred and drummer Nick. Produced by Justin Hill (Sikth), their opening release quickly grabbed attention and praise. Its success was subsequently pushed further by its successor Stranger Just The Same in 2014, an encounter also recorded with Hill. With video/singles luring play on the likes of Scuzz TV and Kerrang, the band set about working on an album, flying out to Japan`s legendary Geimori studio in Sapporo to record The Parts We Save with Daniel and Margarita producing.

Mixed by Ben Grosse and Paul Pavao (Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Depeche Mode, Ben Folds, Thirty Seconds to Mars, etc.) and mastered by Tom Baker (Beastie Boys, Deftones, David Bowie, B.B. King), the album swiftly shows the growth in the band’s magnetic sound and its maturity in songwriting as opener An Apology sets to work stirring up ears. The first single from the release when uncaged last December, the song immediately consumes the senses in a sonic lure from which a bass led swagger within sultry caresses of guitar bounds. Its catchiness is instant and only strengthened by Margarita’s alluring vocals. Carrying thick drama to its rhythmic design and exotically seductive grooves, the track also develops an infectious No Doubt like charm which lies agreeably upon Heel’s own web of melody and imagination fuelled tenacity.

'The Parts We Save' Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewThe excellent opening to the album continues with Selfish Burn which again has that Gwen Stefani and co spicing to its feisty pop ‘n’ roll. Throaty funk infused bait from Fred’s bass provides a potent spine to the song, an agitated smoulder of sonic and melodic resourcefulness laying upon it whilst Margarita’s tones again add a lusty freshness with a tinge of mischief to the temptation. Though seemingly crafted from the same template as the first and next up Yellow & Bliss, each song reveals its own individual and forcibly enticing character. The third track, and the band’s brand new video/single, is a lively shuffle with skittish rhythms and an animated gallop of chords and hooks beneath a breeze of warm harmonies and psych rock tinged enterprise, and quite irresistible.

Nothing New strolls in next with a melodic smile on its face and a devilish bassline at its heart for another inviting slice of impassioned pop rock whilst Shatter is a tender flirtation initially, which brews up into a spirited canter of jangling guitar and animated vocals aligned to mesmeric harmonies. By its close, the gentleness of the song is a near on surge of energy and passion, and increasingly bewitching.

The mellow croon of Cool allows body and emotions to settle; well at first as soon it also raises its enthusiastic agility and creative zeal to lead feet and hips on a merry dance egged on by virulent rhythms. A vibrant and catchy mix of textures and energies, the song has pleasure flowing, running right into the path of the outstanding Keep Running Back To Me. A tapestry of dynamic rock ‘n’ roll as punkish as it is bluesy, as feverishly tenacious as it is rapaciously heavy; the track is like a mix of My Baby and Spinnerette with a touch of Throwing Muses to it and quickly ignites appetite and emotions.

The dark drama of Live This Forever takes over, the track also a heavier proposal with a punk/grunge breeding to its invention and a fiery attitude to its emotive heart. It prowls, almost stalks ears as it unveils its shadow rich theatre, again grabbing eager involvement in its proposal before Fake Love twists and turns with its pop punk infused 4 Non Blondes like rock ‘n’ roll to great success.

Finishing with the tantalising melodic breeze of Streets Full Of You, a final harmonic and emotive kiss on ears with its own line in imaginative shadows, The Parts We Save is an encounter with plenty of eagerly lingering moments. Some songs are a more instant and imposing arousal than others, but each only provides rich enjoyment and an appetite for more from a band still growing into its skin of originality but establishing itself as one of Britain’s brightest propositions.

The Parts We Save is released March 4th via iTunes and Amazon.

http://www.heelband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/Heellondon   https://twitter.com/heellondon

Pete RingMaster 04/03/2016

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Heel – Stranger Just The Same EP

Heel Promo 2

Some releases simply flirt with ears and attention with an energy and creative bounce which just will not take no for an answer and the Stranger Just The Same EP from UK alternative rock band Heel is one exciting example. Consisting of four tracks which with individual character portray a band ripe with promise and fuelled by an inventive nature, the EP is a striking follow-up to the band’s previously well-received debut.

Formed in 2011 out of songwriting sessions between vocalist Margarita and guitarist Daniel, London hailing Heel grew to a quartet with the addition of bassist Yuta and drummer Tom before setting down to work on their first release. Their self-titled EP was acclaimed for translating the band’s renowned stage energy into its Justin Paul Hill produced collection of songs whilst live the four-piece has continued to inspire a potent and severely loyal fan base. Last year saw Heel headline venues such as Camden Rock and The Enterprise as well as being part of the UK University Summer Ball Tour sharing stages with bands such as Feeder, Funeral For a Friend, Ozark Henry, and James Arthur. The autumn of 2013 found the band undertaking a hugely successful headline tour of Japan whilst earlier this year they teamed up with Hill again for Stranger Just The Same. In the midst of a UK tour the band has released an EP which reinforces their rich ascent, one you can easily see leading to the strongest attentive spotlight nationally and further afield.

Stranger sets things off and immediately with its feisty wash of riffs, crisp rhythms, and a groove infested bass tempting has ears and appetite wide awake. It is a formidable entrance with Yuta laying irresistible bait which the occasional Heel SJTS Artworkwarped swipes of guitar only ignites further. The instantly enthralling voice of Margarita encourages the song to relax around her, a jazzy swing whispering within the melodic weave caressing ears. The track cannot stay still for long though and soon erupts in an infectious blaze for the chorus, its romping energy and bewitching enterprise a virulent persuasion easy to get lost in. It is pop rock at its most flaming best but still only part of the story as the guitars cast unpredictable hooks and twists to the adventure whilst the bass adds more imaginative intrigue which is as invigorating as it is wonderfully mischievous.

The following Gone is a similarly spellbinding encounter with a heavier and darker throat than the previous track but a no less contagious enterprise. The song almost stalks in gait initially, riffs and beats pressing intimidatingly yet seductively on the senses. It is not long before its fire expels a sonic rapacity to wrap the still lingering menace of the song. It is a magnetic slice of rock which is unafraid to merge sinews and heated melodic expression, resulting in a proposition which smoulders and sizzles from start to finish.

There is also an angst kissed emotive depth to the songs lyrically and in presence which is no more in evidence than in the evocative balladry of We’ll Fall Back in Love. Though missing the more adventurous twists and turns of the first two tracks, it is another potent string to the songwriting bow of the band. With its more expected presence the song does not quite ignite the passions as the first pair but still leaves a lingering hunger for much more through fiery guitar flair and the ever alluring vocals of Margarita as much as anything.

The release closes on the thumping heart and rigorous passion of Not You, a track also just missing the earlier plateau set but lighting body and emotions in a net of accomplished creativity, emotional poetry, and richly convincing enterprise. Across the release in the way songs are structured and tastily inventive in their intimate expression and broader ingenuity, but not from the sound itself, thoughts of The Pretenders spark. It is too soon to say that Heel can make the same kind of impression but The Stranger Just The Same does suggest they just might have the potential.

The Stranger Just The Same EP is available now @ http://www.heelband.com/music

http://www.heelband.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 14/08/2014

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