Apr 2024 30

Album CoverHeavy Feelings
Album: Heavy Feelings EP
Category: No Wave / Post-Punk / Alt. Rock
Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2024-03-01
Author: Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)


Following the dissolution of his previous band in 2016, Bristol-based Ben Shillabeer had all but given up on making music, only to find inspiration in the no wave and post-punk sounds of Chicago’s Ganser. One can imagine the kind of glee he must’ve felt then when Nadia Garofalo, having departed from that band, joined the Bristol musician’s new outlet. As it turns out, Heavy Feelings is a rather appropriate name for this cross-continental band and this self-title debut EP, for if the raw and rocking punch of the instrumentals don’t strike you, the restless discontent of Garofalo’s lyrics and vocals will. Throughout the EP, Shillabeer’s guitars scratch and claw their way through the speakers with that bristling indie distortion sound that almost masks the relative simplicity of the playing, not only emphasizing a less-is-more economy of sound, but also allowing his basslines to dance more wildly about. Such is especially true of the funky grooves of “Bootlickers,” on which Garofalo sneers such indictments against conformity and inaction like “You appreciate placating like it’s going out of style” and “How do you sleep so sound when the sky is falling and your neck’s in the ground?” The same can be said of the guitar and keyboard washes of “Pacemaker” giving it a somewhat ‘90s dreampop vibe, eventually settling into a sour and offbeat riff that in tandem with the bopping electronic beats and Garofalo’s distorted Wurlitzer is catchy as hell; the sheer poetry of her lyrics helps too as she says disaffectedly, “Nothing hits harder than steps not taken.” Add in Ben Turner’s drumming and mixing prowess, and you have a winning formula that deserves as wide an audience as the distance between the band members. It may not shatter the Earth upon which you walk, but it will make that uneasy traversal all the more bearable.
Track list:

  1. Noctalgia
  2. Bootlickers
  3. Pacemaker
  4. Goodfaith

Heavy Feelings
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