Louisiana duo Generationals releases their third highly anticipated and gleeful third album Heza this week with new label Polyvinyl Records. After releasing two full length albums and one EP with the hometown based Park the Van Records, Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer this year made the switch to the more eminent Polyvinyl; whose impressive rooster boost the likes of Deerhoof, Of Montreal, Japandroids and Vivian Girls. The move sees the band build upon their indie pop foundations trough a serious of direct and pragmatic dips into to 80’s electronica and tropical grooves. Heza show some real creative whirl, not only with their song penmanship but building upon those additive springs in your step rifts and variable textured layer.
In traditional Generationals style this album doesn’t disappoint on the catchy clap your hands, move your feet side of things. It’s everything you would expect from this band, their strengths and abilities lay within creating simple guitar twinged pop songs with catchy hooks that are brimmed with cheery life affirming melodies and this album is full of them. In comparison however to the bands previous releases, Actor- Caster and Con Law, Heza seem to tone down the happy go lucky charm of their likeable 60’s indie pop in favour of a more experimental and developed sound. Those hooks still glisten but rather then dominate; they get caught in-between the gaps of each song’s spectrum of sound.
Kicking off with a bit of sunny surf pop, Spinoza is heavy laden with wild giddy guitars and playful erratic vocals, its bright and bouncy and the perfect re-introduction to remind us of what Generationals do so well. The album sporadically goes trough a dynamic serious of adjustments and changes and we see this first break early on into the record. There is a more focused detailed shift of tighter hooks and tempered pattern as Extra Free Year transitions slickly into a twangy sonic groove. Extra Free Year is heavy on the rhythm and bounce and with a full thriving bass line that streams trough the sprinkles of piano are drowned out.
Say When and You Got Me draws in on the bass as it spurts blips of sonic sparkle and doses of playful and lustrous synth. You Got Me flows out some kaleidoscopic grooves, light, airy and translucent and we begin to get into the heart of the album. This mid flow shift gives Heza a fresh mellow feeling before the mood is elevated once again with Put A Light On. This is the strongest song on the album carrying with it all the trademarks of Generationals twee pop side. Its euphoric weightless buoyant chimes are a melodically charged slab of ear worm indie pop.
The album begins to charge up as I Never Know revs up and thumps an ample glam rock guitar rift until the album is brought down again with Awake and Durga II’s breezy melodies. Kemal keeps things neutral as it drifts into tropical summer vibe, its chimes ring out like a lucid tribal clang of shimmery velvet.
Just as the clouds are beginning to part and the sunshine stars to stream trough in what has seemed like an endless winter Generationals produce an album that will be ready to apply a bit of colour and spring in your step. Generationals prove themselves to be a band that likes to play around with different musical style trough out the decades. They are not afraid to try new things and aren’t weighed down by the expectations of being pigeon holed into the indie pop label that has been placed upon them. Heza is a tentative step in a new direction for the band and while it may seem a little unpolished and giddy at times the result is far from an unsuccessful one.