Hey Awesome Album Review – Heavenly – Heavenly Vs. Satan (1991)

Hey Awesome Album Review is a look back at the albums released by the bands I love between 1991 and 2014.

Each review will be written while listening to the album, and I recommend you listen along as well. Each review will also be awesome.

Today, we are reviewing Heavenly‘s “Heavenly Vs. Satan“. Released in 1991, it was spawned from the fires of Tallulah Gosh, is British as fuck, indie as fuck, and important to twee kids everywhere.

For me, I give it a 6.0. I found this review tough to write, and it might be boring as shit to read, as it’s not really a review. I do sum up the experience, but truth be told, I knew this one would be difficult to write.

To listen along with this review, use this playlist: Heavenly – Heavenly Vs. Satan (grooveshark) I added the bonus tracks there too, but didn’t review them. You’ll see why when you read this thing.

Also, you may want to familiarize yourself with the C86 tape.

 

“Cool Guitar Boy”

Here’s something you need to know about me and Heavenly. Amelia Fletcher’s voice is in some kind of range where I really have to pay alot of attention to in order to understand what she is saying. I love the way it sounds, and I love how high it is, and the way she uses it. But I *rarely* listen to the lyrics unless they are super obvious. Like how this song is about how she wants this guy to love her because he has heaven in his eyes. I heard that part.

Heavenly is great because they have a consistent little tone heavy guitar, decent bass-lines, and solid drumming. they just SOUND cute. Even though their songs are pretty complex, its a cute kind of complex that Heavenly pulls off nicely. And this is just their freshman attempt (not at being musicians, but at being Heavenly). Later, when that other chick joins the band, things get ramped up a notch.

 

“Boyfriend Stays the Same”

Heavenly is also great at little opening riffs like this. There’s got to be a name for that sort of pointed drumbeat. I’m sure there’s a vast vocabulary of words regarding drumming that I’m not privy to in the slightest. The lexicon of specialized sub-genres of life. Oof. So here’s another sad song wrapped in a happy little wrapper. This is sort of like, analogous to Britain mentality as a whole, some might say. Happy on the outside, just kind of mopey on the inside. Did I just generalize an entire nation? Perhaps I did, and perhaps I DID. Anywho… I will say this about Heavenly. They are the kind of band that I would put on if I were going to go to xkcd and read their entire back catalog for an hour, or browse other online indie comics, or comics I bought from the indie bookstore. They make me feel like I need to be a part of someone else’s psyche for a while. Indie comics are great like that, they offer a little window into someone else’s thoughts and feelings. Heavenly is the soundtrack for that shit.

 

“Lemonhead Boy”

Is this a fucking song about the Lemonheads? If it is I’m not going to be impressed. Are you asking yourself “Russ, have you never heard this album?”. When it comes to Heavenly, I know songs here and there, and none from this record except a bonus track (and I’m not reviewing the bonus tracks on this beast) were familiar to me, except for one, sort of (you’ll see). Like i said earlier, I have no idea what she is singing about right now. I’ll guess. It’s about how she loves a boy. but doesn’t Amelia have one of those vocals where you go “what the hell is this girl like in conversation?”. As soon as this review is over, I’m going to try and find an interview with her. And that’s the thing about liking indie in the 90s. THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY TO WATCH INTERVIEWS WITH THESE PEOPLE. I am going to revel in the ability to even attempt to do this. Feels good. There was a time when insound.com was huge, and there were little independent DVDs people would make, some indie magazine had a DVD that came with their mag, I forget what it was, but I wasn’t that well off, so that shit was a high luxury. Soon, I will know. What she sounds like. Or not. I bet I can find it.

 

“Shallow”

Other bands who write similar style songs like these, they invoke a different feeling from me than Heavenly does. There’s probabaly some 36 year old guy out there who used to listen to Heavenly, and it really spoke to him. He’d cry and pine over some chick. That ain’t me. Not with this band. A lot of Sarah Records, actually. In fact, secret time. This was a really hard review for me to muster up the “do it” to write. Because I have very little context. It’s not even a review at this point, it’s like a stream of consciousness into the Russ. And that’s cool.

But on the song front, I don’t like the chorus to this song at all.

This album would be good on vinyl, but then it would sit in your record collection for a while and you’d go “the Heavenly album?? Nah.” Unless it was raining.

 

“Wish Me Gone”

 

OK. So. The other day I pre-listened to this record and tried to figure out how I was going to angle this review. Turns out I was going to be very meta during it. Great for me, probably sucks for you, dear reader (the 1 person who is reading this). Anyways, as I said, there’s a smattering of Heavenly songs that I am quite familiar with, and one of them is called “Escort Crash on Marsten St’, and it is basically this song, same music, but the lyrics are about how their limo driver was driving too fast and almost got them all killed. If I were reviewing the bonus tracks, you’d hear more about that, but I’ll include that shit in the playlist for this album.

So I like this song, because of the bah bah badabah bah’s, and because it feels like home. But I like the other version better. Because my sad emo days are over, and now Heavenly is great when I’m in a comfy bed in the winter and I need something soothing to sleep to. THAT’S WHAT IT IS, it’s like soothing indie. You know. smoooooooth indie.

 

 

“Don’t Be Fooled”

Oh, this track comes up with a question on the onset. You ever feel like I do? Isn’t that the point of every song ever? Is there a good example of a song that’s like “don’t pay attention to me”? If so, it’s probably punk rock.

One thing about Heavenly is that all of their songs are like 4 minutes long. When I used to write a bunch of sad bastard acoustic songs, they always ended up being like 2 minutes and 15 seconds, max. I wasn’t really a fan of repeating verses a lot, or giving wanky outros. I’m a get to the point kind of dude. Short attention span listener? I mean, sort of. I like Built To Spill’s “Perfect From Now On”, and all of those songs are long. But that’s a whole fucking different bag of tricks than this is.

No idea what she’s saying. The curiosity of what she sounds like in real life is somewhat overwhelming me at the moment. I can remember when I found out about all the British music.. I was not really a fan. In fact, I’ve known some folks in my life that are just crazy for it. Sarah Records. Shoegaze, British twee, Welsh bands, shit like that. I guess I’m coming to terms with the idea that I “like” it, but I don’t LOVE it. I am an Americanophile, I think.

 

“It’s You”

Yeah, this song is nice. Poppy. Also clocks in at 2:30, so quick. To the point. Love it.

Anyways, back to this Americanophile thing. It’s true. I like Cali punk more than British punk from the late 70s. I like american Sci-Fi better than British sci-fi. I like American culture when it comes to music, movies, and TV. I mean, I prefer it. The UK has its moments. Doctor Who is awesome. But so is Bill and Ted and Back to the Future. and LOST. Also Doctor Who is just so… British sometimes. LOL I sound like a British racist. I’m not. Just statin’ a pref, bro.

 

“Stop Before You Say It”

 

It’s interesting to think about, but these songs could be borderline country, given the right tweaks. What does wikipedia classify this as? Straight twee pop. I tend to like American Twee bands like bunnygrunt. I get that there would probably *be* no Twee if it weren’t for Heavenly and all these other C86 bands, so I give up mad respect. Plus the have a punchy bass. But all in all, yeah, Heavenly is in a weird bucket for me at the moment. Grab a indie comic about some girl’s failures with boys and put this record on, and then tell me I’m wrong.

 

Do it,

 

-rux

(edit: Found an interview with her talking about the C86 tape)

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