Heathers – Here, not there – Review by Ian Rowland

Heathers are an Irish two-piece band consisting of Sisters Ellie and Louise MacNamara and ‘Here, Not There’ is their debut offering.

Opener ‘Remember When?’ immediately grabs the attention with its tight staccato guitar riff swiftly developing into a fast strum guitar and twin vocal barrage.  Barely pausing for breath two minutes and sixteen seconds later the song is over in an adrenaline rush.

Next up ‘Honey Please’ momentarily lures the listener in with its more introspective intro but, within seconds the oral battery continues in much the same vein as the opening track.

The pace actually does slow down on ‘Reading In The Dark’ and  it’s very welcome, featuring as it does some sublime cello work by guest Patrick Dexter, but, at one minute fifty seconds, it is a little on the short side.

Back to business on ‘Fine Arts’ with the by now twin vocal guitar assault bludgeoning the senses, in fact at one point it seems like they are in danger of falling over their own feet, tripping over on a stream of lyrics.

‘What’s Your Damage’ is for me a lightweight, simple, direct, melancholy song and boasting a gorgeous minor key chorus but ending just shy of two minutes in fact most of these songs take an idea around the block a couple of times and then end abruptly when perhaps you’d expect them to develop.  They certainly can’t be accused of musical verbosity, indeed, for some of these minimalist tracks are somehow enhanced by their brevity, the songs appearing to stop as soon as the point has been made or until, perhaps, they simply ran out of lyrics.

The melodies are, for the most part, strong and the album certainly repays repeat listening although by the close the limitations of the twin vocal/guitar format becomes apparent so it is with some relief that the cello makes a welcome return on ‘Slices of Palama’.

That said, and minor grumbles apart, I rather enjoyed this album, although a little more variation in the arrangements would be beneficial.  However, if you like your songs short and full throttle ‘Here, Not There’ contains much to enjoy.  Folk-Punk anyone?





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