Are you looking for a band who doesn’t quite fit shoegaze, but then again also not punk, not even psychedelia but all of them at once? ‘In Heat Not Sorry’, Cork based quintet, The Altered Hours debut album is quite something which you can’t put your finger on, but in the best way possible.
Album opener ‘Who’s Saving Who’ starts the album with overused tremolo, trembling guitars guiding the way through lazy vocals with a dramatic end for a first song. The trembling tremolo sounds seem to be a theme throughout the first few songs of this album with ‘Rotting’, the short, catchy and also melodic instrumental also following this. ‘Way Of Sorrow’ (hear below) is a banger with fuzzy guitars and is far more punk in structure and than the first song. With shouty vocals and generally far more upbeat than the album opener.
The album then starts to head towards a more relaxed tone, with ‘Silver Leather’ consisting of rather lazy vocals throughout. It’s also far more experimental, with screeching guitars and synth melodies alongside a quite melodic bassline. The next track, ‘Birds’ is also quite relaxed and begins with a rumbling bass melody, joined by a sweet, but quite conflicting guitars. This is a turning point on ‘In Heat Not Sorry’ and contrasts the dark from the light. The almost shouting, repetitive lyrics of “reinvented me, again again again” confirms this in a way and also sends the song towards a very chaotic end.
The rest of the album is also very much experimental, even with exotic percussion and sweet, haunting vocals during ‘Virgin’s Sleeve’. ‘Grey On Blue’ is the more upbeat song from the second half, it isn’t enough to wake you up from ‘Virgin’s Sleeve’, but still charming in its own right. Both songs use a lot of silence and space to good effect.
‘Citadel’ is also quite percussion lead in the intro, but the vocals are less lazy and much more sure of themselves, almost confident. Launching into a much more powerful, more positive and upbeat song ending in a rolling melody with harmonious vocals. The final track ‘Laughing On Their Knees’ is percussion and vocal lead before the more childlike vocals come in, they’re slow, melancholic vocals with hints of sadness. Very ambient and delicate throughout.
Overall, the album has a very live feel to it, the recording clearly emphasises on how they sound live. You can’t pin this album down to one influence in particular, the band have a very versatile sound. It’s a mixture of experimental rock, punk rock, post punk, with hints of shoegaze and all the while even sounding quite psychedelic throughout. The album is clearly split in two and both halves are juxtaposed against each other, starting off heavy before fading to a quieter and calmer end.