Song review: Zizek
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Date of Release: January 10, 2014
Reviewer: Tucker’s Law
In my experience, “Prog” has been a difficult genre to broach with a lot of people. It seems that, depending who you ask, there are as many different sub-genres, classifications, pigeon-holes and exemptions of what is Prog as there are in the entirety of rock and metal (read: too many). I was once threatened with physical violence from a math/tech-death/progcore doom metal drummer for daring to defend the assertion that Tool had Prog elements in their songs. There are some people who fail to acknowledge a song as Prog unless it has a flamboyant keyboard solo somewhere in the 8th minute. Purists who only allow themselves to appreciate such a narrow slice of what is a larger, more dynamic spectrum of music, because everything outside of their pre-determined set of “rules” is decreed NOT what genre-X is about while simultaneously failing to understand that music is a language, a form of communication, and like any language it evolves through time…
What I’m saying is that it’s tricky. And hey, call me progressive, but I think these people need to shut the fuck up and let the music do the talking.
That being said, I suppose if there’s at least one tenet of Prog, is that it always seems to come with a general air of snooty intellectualism. I guess the more interesting conversation to be having is whether or not that sense of intellectualism, or cleverness, is earned. Because I’m sure we ALL know some intellectual-types who can be insufferable wankers. Take me for example: at the Tucker’s Law household, the television only comes on when there’s a revisionist history of avant-garde ballet or an Ingmar Bergman marathon to be had. *ahem*
Which brings us to Melbourne-based Heisenberg, which I will admit; I was dubious about in name alone. Nothing gets my cynicism synapses firing up more than when bands “cleverly” attach their names to some pop-culture reference, desperately clinging to relevance some kind of zeitgeist remora fish. Or… so I’m told… I mean, I don’t watch Breaking Bad. (*ahem*) I’ve always felt there’s nothing clever in abstractly referencing something just for the sake of it. I mean, how long is it until we get to see a band called “House of Stark”? (*ahem*) And the next thing I noticed was that their song is named after a sweaty, Slovenian, Neo-Marxist philosopher. Interest piqued, Heisenberg. But will this be a sincerely clever musical composition, or more pseudo-intellectual clap-trap and wank?
I’m relieved to report that this song is gooood. Damn good. I can listen to this shit all day until I, too, am a gigantic, sweaty, jabbering mess of thoughts.
It’s hard to give a play-by-play recount of a song like this. Needless to say, don’t get used to any one particular theme or groove for too long. Prog-rock music can bring out the show-off in any guitarist, and this song shifts and changes through its phrases fluently, straddling the line of excessive wankery, without going full-retard, sporadic without being chaotic. It’s a very smart, self-aware and assured composition, with the musicianship tight as a drum in all quarters. The guitar punches, squeals and chugs whilst also allowing moments of spotlight-hogging, virtuoso-sweeping, then back into heaps riffage. The drums and bass, (if a little thin and bland in tone) pump effortlessly. Sonically, it’s an all-out assault on my preferences.
What’s especially worth noting here is the vocals. The scream is sharp, clear and fierce, while the verses are a throaty, almost Gregorian-sounding chant. Really interesting stuff.
Look, I could go into more detail about the individual merits of the song, but I don’t really have anything else to say apart from you can probably see my boner from space right now. This song is a gem, and I look forward to seeing Heisenberg live and buying them a beer. And I’m not just saying that because they’re from my neck of the woods, anyone in the area can tell you there are more than enough shithouse bands from Melbourne.
If I could wish anything more of this song, it would be that I’d love to hear it after a lot more big-budget studio polish. As it sits, the production sounds a bit too down n’ dirty, but it still works.
Well done boys, keep fucking dancing!
Vocals – Screams: 8/10 Cleans 8/10
Overall IPHYB Rating: 8.5/10
Personal Enjoyment Factor: 9/10
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