With the soaring vocals of Thursday and the bite of Say Anything comes Heel and Arrow. It’s a crashing array of intensity and crafted tension that pays dividends to the group’s wonderfully tandem dual vocalists – pure and earnest and then abrasive and commanding. The songs on their album Drugs explore themes such as discovering one’s self, dealing with hardships and disillusionment.
As an album, the distortion and high gain soon give way to mild guitar and chill drums. That’s the mark of a solid band, showing that volume and hype tactics isn’t their one trick pony. Despite holding comparable characteristics to their musical peers, Heel and Arrow beat their own path. Their level of dry melancholy and catchiness is like an intangible trademark and let’s face it, talking over a simple verse progression never sounded so cool.
The opening two tracks are great for a well-rounded taste, musical and yet wild. The cymbals are relentless and the more guttural vocals come off almost a little too comical, but the energy is prime for the pit and launches “Abounds” into your head. As far as “Karate” it might be even stronger. From the uniquely poppy guitar in the beginning to the eventual twang and overtone of distress, this song bangs hard and leaves room to grow. The melody is loose but wound around irresistible gang vocals. The verses keep things reserved and almost intimate which makes the chorus erupt even harder.
“Norman’s Gun” has a ‘90s dreary rock sound with the vocal inflections of Eddie Vedder. It’s a solid track and shows the first sign of serious tones. “Call An Ambulance I Have A Date” is a great title, however the opening lines are delivered in an over-the-top manner. The vocalist’s voice carries a bark, but in this case it could’ve passed as an audition for Cookie Monster. The closing track “Thank You Cards” pours on the ballad and emotion but still follows through with a hard-hitting latter portion. The vocal harmony rides along with marching snare straight to a gentle bridge and ultimately the full force outro. No other song builds as well as this one, which makes it a great choice to close on.
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