Thursday, April 04, 2013

Album Review: Generationals - Heza

On their third album in five years, Heza, New Orleans’ Generationals relaxes. But while enjoyable, this easy-going set of tunes is ultimately forgettable.

Heza’s tracks are mostly built on a mixed foundation of organic percussion and electronic beats. Clear, spacious rhythms keep the songs sounding open and the hazy vocal melodies lend a sleepy daydream tone.

It’s actually quite agreeable. Tunes like “You Got Me” and “Awake” inspire deep, relaxing breathes; however, the calmness can be a double-edged sword.

The peaceful nature of songs like “Awake” prevents any kind of tension and release. As a result, the song feels like it belongs in the background. On “You Got Me,” the listener can hear the rustle of a crowd at a comedy show. It’s like Generationals are getting ignored on their own album.

Generationals tries to break the mold a few times. “I Never Know” leans heavy on a blues guitar base and greasy vocals, but never lets loose. “I Used To Let You Get To Me” tries out silly dissonance and off-kilter rhythms, but it doesn’t fully commit to them. It feels half-hearted.

The one track that avoids a forgettable fate is the opener “Spinoza.” Perky and alive, the song has an energy the rest of Heza lacks.

Heza’s too safe and reserved overall for its own good. A few more risks and Generationals will be more memorable.

Generationals play Local 506 on April 14 with Splashh. Tickets are $10 in advance.

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