Rhythm & Views

The Heavenly States

Delayer, the Heavenly States' third full-length, is even more energetic than their last album, Black Comet--an incredible feat, especially considering how many quiet songs are on this record.

Black Comet was like sprinting down a hill after you just nearly killed yourself running up that hill; Delayer hits you with enough energy to go several more miles and run up more steep hills without stopping. And I'm not pulling out running metaphors just because I'm a runner--the first song is called "Morning Exercise," and the second song begins with the lines, "Turn on the system, turn on the system now." The fifth song is called "Sun Chase Moon," and the last song is called "The Race."

Delayer begins with Ted Nesseth's signature stripped-down guitar riffs and keeps them going, fast and slow, until the end. Genevieve Gagon's violin is more in the background on Delayer, but her vocals and keyboard skills put their best foot forward. The hand-clap-enhanced "Lost in the Light" is pure rock brilliance in its two-chord, Rolling Stones-esque verse and chorus, and even "Sun Chase Moon," one of the quiet songs on the record, gets loud in its simple dynamics.

Delayer has a subtler version of Black Comet's "Pretty Life," which becomes a sort of Delayer in miniature--the energy comes in sustained and even waves, and as a result, is all the more exhilarating.