9/10 Ian Staff review, 17 October 2013
Even though I have a head full of cold today I’m still pretty excited about this release, being an old shoegazer since the early nineties (showing my age now!), Black Hearted Brother is a collaboration between Neil Halstead of legendary Thames Valley footwear enthusiasts Slowdive, Mark Van Hoen formerly of Seefeel and his own stand alone project Locust and Nick Holton of Coley Park and Holton’s Opulent Oog. Released on the Sonic Cathedral label, ‘Stars Are Our Home’ acts like little pockets of sound from each of the musicians appearing here.
There are long spaced out jams that seem to fit with Van Hoen’s back catalogue but also present are full on shoegaze rock outs like second track ‘(I Don’t Mean To) Wonder’, it flits from organic to electronic in the blink of an eye, in fact it’s quite hard to believe all these songs are from the same band. We go from lo-fi pop on ‘This Is How It Feels’ to the Spacemen 3-style sonic stomp of ‘Got Your Love’. It’ll be really hard for the music press to pin this one down but that’s what makes it so great. Halstead’s vocals are as wonderful as ever and with the addition of a few friends for instrumentational back up it never veers too far away from a proper band set up rather than three guys knob twiddling in a studio somewhere. These fellas have all been making great music individually over the past twenty years and to bring their talents together for this project was a damn fine idea.
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- Stars Are Our Home by Black Hearted Brother
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