Heather Shore and Kegan Heiss are Hemlock for Socrates. They also happen to be husband and wife. Their release barometrics is a lo-fi experimental album. The album feels very “artistic” in a David Lynchian type of way. There is a this kind of heavy feel to the whole album. It might be the combination of the very dramatic vocal performances and ominous gray pads.
“across your neck” is the opening track and one of the more rocking tracks. The beat is heavy and I really liked the lead guitar work. Heiss’ vocals were a little too buried in the mix for my liking but the track seemed to be more about the music in this case.
I liked the ominous dark atmosphere on “stilled wind” not too far away from Portishead. The vocals are sung like Shore is in an opera. There is a nice balance of disparate elements and I liked that fact they didn’t draw this song out too long.
“fresh tape” is a highlight. There is a Radiohead-esque type feel. The guitars sound great although the synth sounds felt a bit more like a preset. They harmonize here and sound really good together.
“hurt you this way” is all atmosphere. The jazzy ride combines very well with other electronic instrumentation. The sound design on the synths again felt a little too much like a basic preset. I can’t say the vocals which are again done like Shore is in an opera are catchy but they work well with the song. “come and gone” was a highlight. The beat really gives the song all its energy as the guitars and synths are very subdued. It’s also a very dynamic song as it unfolds with inventive transitions.
“the forecast” which melds ’80s synth sounds with a fairly driving bass pattern and distorted guitars. It’s the most uplifting song amongst the darker tones on the album. Up next is “inclement weather” which has a flair for the dramatic. They end with “bite your tongue” which had the catchiest vocal melodies on the entire album. The vocals feel just as covered in existential dread as all the others but this one stuck out to me.
If you can appreciate Theatre of the Absurd, David Lynch, Scott Walker and liked minded artistic endeavors that are considered fringe you will have no problem embracing the aesthetic qualities of barometrics.
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