A collaboration between Thieves Like Us’ Josiah Steinbeck and Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba, Heavens (pictured) conjure dreamy post-rock rife with midperiod Depeche Mode inflections and subdued but tangible emo sentiments. Their latest, Patent Pending (Epitaph), has echoes of Interpol’s stark minimalism but is more deeply rooted in late-’80s alterna-pop bands like the Church and Echo & the Bunnymen. The title track even steps it up with an indie dance-floor stomp like Bloc Party’s second album never happened. Heavens would’ve ruled the second 60 of MTV’s 120 Minutes. Cincinnati expat Boom Bip generally uses electronics to imagine misty, organic re-creations of ’70s SoCal mellow rock with nods to Can and Fairport Convention. But previews of his upcoming One of Eleven EP find him raving to propulsive, post-Aphex Twin beats. Go figure.
(Originally published in the LA Weekly, 3/07)