Hiatus Kaiyote
Love Heart Cheat Code


4.0
excellent

Review

by Miloslaw Archibald Rugallini STAFF
July 4th, 2024 | 48 replies


Release Date: 06/28/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: All work and no play makes muzak a dull joy

Love Heart Cheat Code is as easy to enjoy as Haiyatus Coyote is to misspell. Initiates of their neosouljazzfunk kaleidoscope have had engorged love chakras since the band first flexed their lithe musical chops on 2012's Tawk Tomahawk, but lovers-to-be too can seamlessly embark upon the opener "Dreamboat" and be welcomed into their oeuvre in a cascading and cleansing wash, swells of pianos and strings gently prying apart third eyes so that we might voyage together into a realm of acceptance, where vocalist/guitarist Nai Palm will elucidate that the cosmic phenomena that coincided with your birth ("Telescope") are as worthy of your loving gaze as BMO from Adventure Time ("BMO Is Beautiful").

If memery in music is enough to upset your chi balance, take a nice deep breath with me. Wooosaaahh. Niki Yang (BMO from Adventure Time) does indeed feature in a wacky little track that wouldn't be out of place in a drug-addled Saturday morning cartoon, but it's merely a breezy 40-second intro to the rather fucking wonderful "Everything Is Beautiful", a track that packs more bespoke licks than a two-tongued terrier and features a seriously dynamic and free-flowing guitar performance that'll get your blood singing. It is busy, it is bold, it is a highlight. Further piss-taking across the album is also fortunately tempered: "Longcat" is actually not all that long, and does dip into some fun polyrhythmic interplay, while lyrics like "fuck it up, buttercup" are actually a fairly snug fit within the loose confines of this playful gamut-run of an album.

Frivolity hasn't exactly been a novel occurrence in Hyatus Koiyote's career to date, but here it feels elevated by what the band has described as a search for simplicity. The lyrical approach is largely minimalist in its thematics, focusing on simple truths (love is the answer: "Love Heart Cheat Code"; you don't make friends, you find them: "Make Friends", etc), and some tracks only have a couple-three stanzas to them once you sift past the ubiquitous "ooohaaahs". Pop song structures attack in kind, sometimes even with relatively vanilla chord progressions and straight and steady rhythms.

But watch the fuck out! This is Kaiyotus Haiyote with their digits on the instruments after all, and simple isn't exactly their first musical instinct. They'll verse-chorus their way to a bridge and bring that shit home again as the metrics say they should, but suddenly there'll be eighteen Nai Palms singing, the chords are all growing odd extensions and getting comped all over, a flock of flutes flies in, and some cunt wanders into the mix with an ungodly basslike instrument that he insists is called a 'frello', and guano coats the walls. Song structures start to morph, disguising themselves beneath blossoming instrumentation that swirls into sonic tangents as fractals expanding. Arrangements shift almost entirely between verses, and a dense, psychedelic mix feat. hyperkinetic panning makes you turn up that Mario Caldato Jr. goodness and just lose yourself in the noise

only to find yourself being pummelled by Love Heart Cheat Code's final brace of tracks. First of all, there's "Cinnamon Temple" – a completely unpredictable journey into linear songwriting containing (among other things) big fuzzy riffs, audacious drums, silly and righteous vocalisations, and a crazy coda that will demand all of your close-listening skills to separate into its parts. Before you can question who has taken Peyote Nairobi hostage and demanded this sudden change in their musical approach, the band launch into a nearly unrecognisable cover of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" which pivots between menacing and minimal atmospheres to swooping strings to something resembling industrial hip-hop which is given pride of place in a towering reprise to finish off the album. I always thought the original was a minute or two short, but uh…the fuck?

Truth is, this endgame eschewing of Hiatus Kaiyote's established sound might be Love Heart Cheat Code's best quality — and it's got plenty to choose from. What's confusing is that it feels like an album-long plan coming into fruition, but it's really a sudden drop off a cliff, as well as a cliffhanger regarding the band's future. Whatever comes next, I sure hope it's got as much expressionistic ready-to-fuck messiness as it does easy-going platonic love, because in the act of simplifying and sillifying, Hiatus Kaiyote have let slip that they are capable of a completely different shade of brilliance.



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user ratings (45)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2024


3068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Huzzah! Thanks Johnny for sorting out my shitty use of language



Have a bonus track description that was left on the cutting room floor: "Make Friends", a journey through the art of discovering friends across the pronoun spectrum that builds to a bouncing back-end (platonic, I swear!) replete with a percussive crescendo wherein a high hat duels a triangle for the right to pay for coffee and scones

neekafat
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2024


26419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

um yes i am so ready for this great rev milo !

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
July 4th 2024


12104 Comments


Oh nice, I haven’t jammed these guys since Choose Your Weapon, looks like a good one to jump back into at 35mins, will check ASAP.

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2024


3068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers neek, as ol scuro sez she's a quick one!

The album you missed in between is about as good and about as long as this one scuro, definitely worth your time. Get Sun might be my favourite track of theirs

neekafat
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2024


26419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

I too have only jammed Choose Your Weapon--seems I have some homework to do (;

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
July 4th 2024


12104 Comments


Very glad to hear that, I popped this on and I’m already in love barely halfway though

Also

Fantastic fucking review, dude, one of the best I’ve read lately, absolute pleasure. (nice touch with the band name joke btw).

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2024


3068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That hefty tracklist on Choose Your Weapon often sends me elsewhere for my fix, but it still might just be their best album idk I like them all!

Thanks Scuro! Have been sick all week so had a bit of time to piece this one together between noseblows and brainfogs

Manatea
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2024


1971 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yesyesyesyesyes review is fantastic and album is fantastic too

Butkuiss
July 4th 2024


7334 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I really dig the last two tracks (as much as they lean into more Louis Cole-isms than this band ever has before) but I can’t help but feel I’d enjoy this one a bit more if Palm wasn’t as front and centre. I will say though the commitment to sounding this much like Melbourne in 2012 in 2024 is commendable.

Demon of the Fall
July 4th 2024


34868 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I've not heard these guys before, so gonna remedy that because I am certainly intrigued! Perhaps by choosing my weapon first



thanks for the heads-up

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2024


27799 Comments


Cool album, I just think Mood Valiant was more adventurous and a better listen. Great live band, saw them on Tuesday with Jared

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2024


3068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Get ready for basslines Demon, they shall stank in abundance

Fair take Sona, I think Mood Valiant goes heftily underrated, it's my most revisited of theirs. I've been meaning to catch them live but last time they were near me they played a fancy venue and I didn't have enough kiwibucks for the occasion

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
July 4th 2024


12104 Comments


Honestly, I’m pretty happy that this is more stripped down than their prior stuff, it’s very listenable and cohesive without sacrificing any of the creativity or experimentation, particularly towards the end. That’s just first impressions, but I’m glad to have this on rotation now, it’s exactly the kind of thing I’m wanting more of lately.

ArsMoriendi
July 4th 2024


41293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Finally this has a review

ArsMoriendi
July 4th 2024


41293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely a step down from their previous 2, but the previous 2 are brilliant, so very very good is still fine by me



No mention of "Dimitri" though? That's easily my fave on here and the story behind it was neat to hear about its inspiration when I saw them live 2 days ago

Deez
July 5th 2024


10393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review Milo, Massive KH fan but not had the time to properly sit down with this.

mkmusic1995
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2024


1859 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very nice review, I really enjoyed this on first listen. It's extremely relaxing and the production aesthetics just sound amazing with a nice pair of headphones

bananatossing
July 5th 2024


2385 Comments


I like their first two albums quite a bit. How do this or the previous album compare?

I remember giving these guys a shot because one of the Intronaut dudes spoke very highly of them, and I wasn't disappointed.

mindleviticus
July 5th 2024


10538 Comments


I liked Choose your Weapon quite a bit, this is a very competent release definitely a logical progression, can't say much really grabbed me and pulled me in though, maybe it'll reveal itself on subsequent listens

Demon of the Fall
July 5th 2024


34868 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

unexpectedly based Intronaut rec moment



still on CYW (and enjoying it a lot!) but will peek their other material next week I reckon. As much as I want to just dive into it all immediately, I shall respect the need for mindful digestion



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