Review Summary: Naked on the Vague isn't going to let you forget that Heaps is a noise record at heart, even if different styles are on the horizon.
As easy as it would be to dismiss Heaps of Nothing
as what its title suggests, it would be an injustice to not delve deep through the cacophonous bursts of angular dissonance and into... well... more noise. In this spirit, the album's title is humorous, if only for the mere fact that it's completely contradictory to the record's nature. A more appropriate title would be Heaps of Noise
, but that's a little too
obvious, don't you think? But then again, Naked on the Vague has made a perfectly obvious album. As it is, for a lack of a more professional/appropriate term, "pure noise."
If that wasn't blatant enough, perhaps fans would find it better to say that Heaps
makes 2007's The Blood Pressure Sessions
look like a minimalist, tranquil release. Yeah, it's that balls to the wall, and Naked on the Vague seem to be adapting quite nicely to their stylistic shift. Their sound no longer uses an excess of bass drum, but a plethora of boisterous keyboards, and some electronic flair to liven things up. But Heaps
doesn't really need it; its impulsive chord changes come few and far between, but they're carefully executed (timing is still important to Naked on the Vague, thank goodness), so they come across as some of 2010's most exciting music moments, no doubt. But is that all that Heaps
is? On first impression, the answer is yes, hands-down. However, when given more attention, the conclusion is nowhere near as obvious.
Sure, the band's sophomore album is strident and noisy, but underneath their abrasive aesthetic lay traits of more popular forms of music. Granted, they're small inclusions, but they're still there. Electronic snare hits are unexpected, as is the sudden utilization of pitch-bend production tactics."Sacred Youth" is an epic portrayal of all of Naked on the Vague's electric tinge, but a sense of doom metal still comes across, most notable on the first and last tracks. But Naked on the Vague isn't going to let you forget that Heaps
is a noise record at heart, even if different styles are on the horizon. This ideology makes for a very overwhelming release, of course; but is it eclectic? Is it interesting? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes, ten times over.