November 2013 National Music Reviews

Review: Black Hearted Brother – Stars Are Our Home

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Black Hearted Brother
Stars Are Our Home
Slumberland Records
Street: 10.22
Black Hearted Brother = Spiritualized + The Stone Roses + Swervedriver

After fronting the legendary shoegaze band Slowdive, and then moving on to the delicate folk on Mojave 3 and his own solo output, Neil Halstead has returned to the free-floating psychedelia of heavily affected guitars and synthesizers with his new band, Black Hearted Brother. BHB is a collaboration with former Seefeel member Mark Van Hoen, which finds the two (plus Nick Holton of Coley Park) feeling out their early ’90s shoegaze roots with heavily processed guitars, locked-in kraut groove and disembodied, completely washed out vocals. The entire record is a swirling, ultraviolet pastiche of catchy, sunny melodies and buzzing, unmoored guitars and synths. Neil Halstead still has it. This mash note to Creation Records, 1989 and the guitar’s ability to sound like a beautiful electrical storm is completely believable and heartwarming return to form for Halstead. –Ryan Hall

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