A spritely transitional album, full of supremely catchy hooks, tinges of hits from yesteryear, and a sound paving its own way with respect to what came before it.
Full disclosure, I went to my first Heaven's Gateway Drugs (HGD) show almost 2 years ago and I'd be the first one to admit that I didn't get it when the show started. I had zero idea what Psychadelia meant. I had no idea what I was watching. I'm still not sure I necessarily I "get it". BUT I've certainly come to love what "it" is. After a line up shift following their previous outing Apropos, HGD has been sitting on a handful of these tunes for a decent amount of time finally making their recorded debut on the new record Rubber Nun. Believe me, it's well worth the wait.
First off, I believe there's a secret science to song order on a record. Some bands don't get it, and they just throw their obvious "hits" up front and hope you make it to the back end. Whoever was responsible for that with Rubber Nun nailed it. Poppier gems are sprinkled throughout and seperated by slower shifting tracks that do plenty of heavy lifting of their own.
My lack of understanding of psychadelia is null and void for this record. While there appear to be traces of it here and there, this record is a documenting of a band coming into it's own and cementing a sound. It plays out like a late Beatles record produced by Shin's frontman James Mercer. But even still it's very much it's own thing. Most importantly, it's catchy as hell. I've been humming the riff to title track "Rubber Nun" for over a week. Each track on this record could very easily be released as a successful single. And more importantly each track is jam-packed with lush and playful instrumentation. Listening to songs like "Only Child" you'll find yourself picking through different parts every time you hear it, whether it's balanced backing vocals, perfectly placed rim taps, solid tambourine work, or even just the opening guitar line. It's a record lovingly put together. And credit has to go to Jason Davis from Off the Cuff Studio.
We were sent the digital copy of the record but upon hearing it the first time, I'd recommend you snag the vinyl edition. It's sure to tickle the fancy of any audiophile. And some really outstanding album artwork courtesy of creative mastermind Nate Utesch.
Do make sure you grab a copy of this record when it releases this weekend! You can also see Heaven's Gateway Drugs this Friday at the Album release show at the Brass Rail and then again the following weekend at Middle Waves Music Festival.
We'd also advise you follow their Facebook page too keep track of future events and all things Heaven's Gateway Drugs.